Head shaking competition

I’ve just found a short case study in the British Journal of Neurosurgery of a 12-year-old boy who suffered a bleed in the brain after taking part in a ‘head shaking competition’. Somewhat curiously, the case study notes that he won, and reports his winning time.

The patient was a 12-year-old, developmentally normal, healthy boy who presented to his primary care doctor with 2 weeks of headache accompanied by intermittent nausea and vomiting. The headaches began after the patient entered a ‘head shaking contest’ with his peers. The object of the contest was to vigorously rotate the head back and forth for as long as one could tolerate. The patient won, with a time of approximately 2 min. Afterwards he noted a mild headache that gradually worsened over the course of 2 weeks. When it was at its most severe, the headache was occasionally accompanied by nausea and vomiting. There were no visual disturbances or other focal neurological signs.

On a follow-up, he was found to have a large subdural haematoma, a type of bleed that happens under the brain’s covering which is known as the dura mater, possibly related to an otherwise benign cyst that existed before hand but may have caused damage during the rather vigorous competition.

Link to PubMed entry for case study.

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