Cerebral Blood Flow Could Assist Concussion Prognosis

Scans show reduced circulation in football players who had not recovered from injury

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A new study of college football players suggests that cerebral blood flow (CBF) can function as an objective signal for the initial evaluation of a concussion, as well as measuring progress and recovery. The findings were reported online March 2 in JAMA Neurology.

The new study was led by Timothy Meier, Ph.D., of the Mind Research Network/Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute in Albuquerque, N.M., and included 17 college football players who had suffered concussions, and a comparison group of 27 football players without concussion. The players with concussions underwent scans to measure CBF one day, one week, and one month after their concussion. The players in the control group also had their CBF checked. CBF was compared against the symptoms of players with concussion, as well.

Meier's team found that players who had full recovery at either one week or one month after their concussions showed normal blood flow in the brain. However, CBF remained reduced in the dorsal midinsular cortex one month after concussion in players who were slower to recover, as well as in those with the most severe initial psychiatric symptoms.

"To our knowledge, this study provides the first prospective evidence of reduced CFB and subsequent recovery following concussion in a homogenous sample of collegiate football athletes," the authors write.

Full Text

Physician's Briefing