UPMC receives grant to study concussions
Detailed images of broken cables in the brain could pave the way for better treatment of sports-related concussions, researchers at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh said Thursday.
The images, produced by sophisticated technology called high-definition fiber-tracking, will be the focus of a study at the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program.
Concussions, caused by a sudden blow to the head, create tiny breaks in the brain that can lead to lasting damage, said Walter Schneider, a senior scientist and professor of psychology and neurological surgery at Pitt's Learning Research and Development Center.
“This technology gives us the ability to see the damage so we hope to track its recovery,” Schneider said. “In the same way X-rays let us track a fracture or look at the healing process, we expect to see these broken brain cables and look at their healing.”
Breaks in the brain-cell network don't show up in traditional MRIs or CT scans typically used on athletes who have potentially sustained a concussion, Schneider said.
The high-definition fiber-tracking, which Pitt used to examine the brains of wounded soldiers, uses sophisticated algorithms to produce yellow, green and purple images of fiber tracts in the brain.
The one-year study will be financed by a $300,000 grant awarded by General Electric and the National Football League. The study was one of 402 proposals submitted as part of the NFL and General Electric's $40 million Head Health Initiative.
The study will enroll 50 more athletes, ages 13 to 28, who sustained a head injury within seven days of seeking care at UPMC's concussion program.
In addition to Schneider, the study's principal investigators are Anthony Kontos and Micky Collins, both with the UPMC concussion program.
“We have to treat concussions with respect, because if you reinjure during the sensitive period of recovery, it can lead to lasting damage,” Schneider said.
Luis Fábregas is Trib Total Media's medical editor. He can be reached at 412-320-7998 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- More witness intimidation charges are filed against Plum teacher
- 80 percent of drivers found exceeding speed limit in Mt. Lebanon, Bethel Park
- Wet weather puts Three Rivers Regatta events in jeopardy
- South Side zoning clashes with parking: Workers hurt
- Duquesne man arrested again for Megan’s Law violations
- Newsmaker: Dr. J. Anthony Graves
- American Airlines manager arrested in Pittsburgh on sex crimes charges
- Run-down duplex that Dormont helped to rehab not on the market long
- Pittsburgh capital plans shift to repairs to police, fire, paramedic stations
- 5 teens injured in East Liberty crash while eluding police
- Human-waste fertilizer aids farmers, worries some Ohio residents