Diagnosis for concussion has been elusive and has remained unreliable. But a team of scientists will change all that with an auditory biomarker that they recently discovered.
Recent technology have been developed to avoid concussions and head trauma. There is the collar that lowers risk of head impact injuries
and the anti-concussion helmet modeled after hedgehogs
That is the prevention, but what about for diagnosis of those who may not show any telltale signs of concussions?
Athletes like those in contact sports need to be regularly checked of a possible, undetected concussion. When left undetected and untreated, these constant head trauma can develop into serious neurodegenerative diseases.
Scientists at Hugh Knowles Center found a biological marker in the auditory system. Diagnosis and monitoring of concussion can improve using this discovery.
“The NFL has a gigantic problem right now. The concussion rate is through the roof, and we’re continuously seeing the detrimental long-term effects on retired players.” – Nathan Swift, COO at Hedgemon.
“Our hope is this discovery will enable clinicians, parents and coaches to better manage athlete health, because playing sports is one of the best things you can do,” said Nina Kraus, professor and lead author of the study.
Kraus and her team discovered that the auditory response from children who suffered concussions followed a different pattern from those who do not.
They attached a simple sensor to the children's brain to monitor the frequency of the auditory response. This method allowed the researchers to identify 90 percent of the children who have concussion and 95 percent of those who do not.
“Our ambition is to produce a reliable, objective, portable, user-friendly, readily available and affordable platform to diagnose concussion,” Kraus said.
“With this new biomarker, we are measuring the brain’s default state for processing sound and how that has changed as a result of a head injury. This is something patients cannot misreport, you cannot fake it or will your brain to perform better or worse.”
The study is published in Nature Scientific Reports.