Diagnosing Concussion

2016-1208 BrainScope Gadget

UConn researchers are working with college athletes to test a new device that can quickly assess concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. The handheld device, developed by Bethesda, Md.-based medical neuro-technology company BrainScope Co. Inc., can help clinicians identify traumatic brain injury (TBI) at the time and place of injury.

“BrainScope approached the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) because of our extensive background in conducting research studies,” says UConn graduate student Samantha Scarneo, director of youth sports safety at the Korey Stringer Institute. The concussion study “aligns with KSI’s overall mission to prevent sudden death in sports and overall safety in all levels of sport,” she adds. The device, which is not yet available commercially, is about the size of a smartphone. Placed on a patient’s head, it measures a patient’s electroencephalograph (EEG), or brainwaves, to gauge brain function after head injury.

The non-radiation-emitting instrument was developed for military use in war zones, and is being adapted for athletes who sustain a TBI while playing contact sports. Within 10 minutes, the device can help medical personnel determine whether it’s safe for a player who’s had a head injury to return to the athletic field.

TBIs include structural injuries such as a bruise or bleeding in the brain and what experts call a “milder form” of TBI, concussions, caused by a bump or jolt to the head. These injuries can alter brain function yet be difficult to detect, as they don’t always cause immediate symptoms.

Credits

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Thanks to BrainScope Co. Inc. for developing the device; Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) for spearheading the study, UConn and the other institutions participating in the study; Google for helping me find the article; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the text and picture in this post.

 

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