New research providing evidence for a novel neurobiological marker of concussion, from Aron Barbey and colleagues, was recently published in the journal Brain Communications.
Athletes who suffer a concussion are usually given a physical and neurocognitive evaluation to determine whether they can continue to play. However, the effect of the injury may be difficult to detect, and athletes may be cleared to play during a vulnerable period and be injured again—demonstrating the need for sensitive functional neuroimaging methods.
From the abstract:
- This study compared the efficacy of Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing composite scores and whole-brain measures of blood oxygen level–dependent signal variability for classifying concussion status and predicting concussion symptomatology in healthy, concussed and repetitively concussed athletes, assessing blood oxygen level–dependent signal variability as a potential diagnostic tool for characterizing functional alterations to cerebral physiology and assisting in the detection of sport-related concussion.
- [The] results indicate that altered blood oxygen level–dependent variability holds promise as a novel neurobiological marker for detecting alterations in cerebral perfusion and neuronal functioning in sport-related concussion, motivating future research to establish and validate clinical assessment protocols that can incorporate advanced neuroimaging methods to characterize altered cerebral physiology following mild traumatic brain injury.
Barbey, Mildred Francis Thompson Professor of psychology and the new director of the Center for Brain, Biology, and Behavior, is an internationally recognized scientist whose research has made significant contributions to understanding the neural basis of human intelligence.