Imaging Technique Could Diagnose Sports-related Brain Disorders
December 1, 2010 12:40 PM
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Magnetic Resonance Spectroscope could replace autopsies, which is the only way to diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy
Researchers at the Center for Clinical Spectroscopy at
Brigham and Women's Hospital
in Boston have discovered that an imaging technique may quickly diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Alexander P. Lin, Ph.D., study leader from the Center for Clinical Spectroscopy at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, along with his team of researchers, have found that a new
could help diagnose CTE, which is a degenerative brain disease caused by repetitive head trauma. CTE can cause depression, difficulty with memory, impulsive/erratic behavior, and dementia. Those who suffer from it can experience long-term disability and permanent brain damage.
Currently, CTE can only be diagnosed via autopsy. Each year, approximately 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur in the United States, and several other cases of subclinical concussions - injuries that act like concussions but cannot be diagnosed - are "unrecognized." This information, which was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, builds a valid argument for the need for a new method of CTE diagnosis.
"The devastating effects of brain injuries suffered by pro football players who repeatedly suffered concussions and subconcussive
during their careers have put the spotlight on CTE," said Lin. "However, blows to the head suffered by all athletes involved in contact sports are of increasing concern."
But now, Lin and his team have used an imaging technique called magnetic resonance spectroscope (MRS) to examine five professional male athletes who are now retired. These athletes participated in football, wrestling and boxing, and were also suspected of having CTE. In addition, five other control patients that matched the age (32-55) and size of the athletes were examined with MRS as well.
MRS utilizes a strong
and radio waves to acquire information from within the body using a MR scanner. MRS is also known as a "virtual biopsy."
Lin and his team found that the former athletes had higher levels of choline, which is a water-soluble essential nutrient that indicates the presence of damaged tissue, than the control patients. The athletes also had higher levels of gamma-aminobutyric (GABA), glutamate and asparate than the control patients. GABA and glutamate are involved in normal brain processes, but too much or too little can cause a problem.
"Being able to diagnose CTE could help athletes of all ages and levels, as well as war veterans who suffer mild brain injuries, many of which go undetected," said Lin.
was presented at the annual meeting of the
Radiological Society of North America
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hurry up & wait
12/1/2010 1:32:09 PM
As a healthcare provider specializing in mTBI, most frequently due to motor vehicle collisions and returning war veterans, but also sports injuries or other neurotoxin exposure, I can hardly wait for a tool like this to be available. PET and fMRI have helped, but aren't enough. It's too bad that something so useful will take so long to become available to anyone but the largest of institutions.
My prayers go out to those who suffer from TBI, PCS, PTSD/PTSS and CTE and their families!
RE: hurry up & wait
12/1/2010 1:47:55 PM
I don't get the sudden big fuss about this industry. We known for a long time this should of been done. Now, all of a sudden Queens University, WAVi (Boulder) and Toyota have been talking about this as if it's the beens knees.
Eegs are fine for temperal data but suck for spatial, though inexpesive using standard 19 sensors.
We could run MEG a little above cost power and tech fees if we could stop useless techs so dang much money. I see so much money being wasted in all industries because every a-hole has fungineer title (testers, techs, support, etc) useless people getting too much money a high school student could do. Pay the real engineers and screw use less jobs.
RE: hurry up & wait
12/1/2010 3:09:26 PM
So... I'm guessing by the lack of spelling and grammar in your post that you don't have a degree?
If you are actually one of these "real engineers" that you talk about in your rant, then I hope for your sake that you are a *lot* more intelligent than your post makes you appear.
RE: hurry up & wait
12/1/2010 3:49:18 PM
as if it's the
Just FYI, the phrase is "The bee's knees". Prolly just a typo, nevertheless
Point taken however. My favorite is ... they are no longer called custodians or janitors, they are Sanitation Engineers!
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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