Adding to evidence that the standard assessments are inadequate to determine whether concussed athletes are fit to return to action, an advanced MRI technique that detects blood flow in the brain shows that hat brain abnormalities persist beyond the point of clinical recovery after injury.
The study compared 18 concussed players and 19 non-concussed players. For the concussed players, MRI was taken within 24 hours of the injury and eight days afterward. Baselines were taken before the football season.
While clinical assessments showed that the concussed players were back to normal at the eight day mark, the MRI demonstrated a significant blood flow decrease at eight days compared to the first post-injury MRI.
While the significance of this is still not clear, it may be that the brain is more vulnerable to another injury.
The study was presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).