A new study in retired athletes takes the first steps in developing an objective tool for diagnosing a history of sports concussions.
nvestigators note that sports-related concussions lead to persistent anomalies of the brain structure and function that interact with the effects of normal ageing. Their newly developed tool -- which combines markers from cognitive, genetic, white matter, and grey matter assessments of the brain -- could be used by clinicians to rule out a history of mild head traumas in ageing patients presenting with abnormal cognitive decline.
"With an increasing number of former athletes suing major sports associations (such as in the NFL) for alleged long-term effects of sports concussions, there is an urgent need to demonstrate objectively the presence of these late life sequela," said Dr. Sébastien Tremblay, lead author of the European Journal of Neuroscience study. "Our study provides a first step in this direction."