Researchers find PET scans can detect brain changes from concussions

As brain injury research moves forward, more and more biological concussion indicators continue to be uncovered. The newest discovery is the ability of a PET scan to detect protein level changes indicative of a concussion in the brain.


Translocator protein 18KDa (TSPO) levels in the brain rise in response to traumatic brain injuries, and a positron emission tomography (PET) scan is able to detect these changes, researchers say. In a study comparing NFL players and veterans with non-athletes with no concussion history, the football players had higher levels of TSPO and more white matter changes in the brain.


The science of detected a concussion is still an imprecise one. The perfect solution to the head injury problem, particularly in youth sports, has yet to present itself. But advancements and discoveries such as this one give hope that one day every concussion can be accurately diagnosed and correctly treated.


*Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.