Brain Wave: Using Sound To Diagnose Concussion

Brain wave: using sound to diagnose concussion

PARIS, , (Pakistan Point News - APP - 22nd Dec, 2016 ) - From blows to the head on the sports field, to car crashes and playground falls, concussion is a common brain injury notoriously difficult to diagnose -- until now, researchers said Thursday. A US-based team unveiled a fast, portable and reliable test measuring differences in brain activity in response to sound. "Our measure... can take the guesswork out of concussion diagnosis," study co-author Nina Kraus of Northwestern University in the United States, told AFP.

"We have found that concussions disrupt how the brain processes sound and this disruption, which can be non-invasively measured, can potentially diagnose and manage concussions." Concussion occurs when a hard blow causes the brain -- a soft organ cushioned by a layer of fluid inside our protective skull -- to jolt violently. In severe cases it can lead to bruising, as well as injury to the nerves and blood vessels. A concussion can be mild to severe, with symptoms ranging from loss of consciousness or amnesia to headache and confusion.

Severe cases may require surgery to relieve brain swelling or a buildup of blood in the skull. For diagnosis, doctors need to know what happened to the patient, and consider a vast basket of symptoms -- some of them obvious, others not. X-rays and other scans often fail to pinpoint the damage, and telltale signs such as disorientation, slurred speech or memory loss may be absent or hard to spot.