A University of Montreal professor and his postdoc student report that they have developed a way to help detect concussion among young football players.

Preliminary research findings on what the researchers say is a new, simple, and noninvasive approach to create a biomechanical and cognitive profile of football players, and more quickly and accurately detect concussions among them, was presented at the International Congress on Sport Sciences Research and Technology Support, held recently in Lisbon, Portugal, according to a media release from the University of Montreal.

In their study, Christian Duval and his postdoctoral student Hung Nguyen, PhD, who work at the Research Centre of the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, which is affiliated with the University of Montreal, performed a dual-task assessment using simultaneous biomechanical and cognitive tests to evaluate the players every week. Using a markerless motion capture system, this approach enabled them to establish a unique profile for each person in 7 minutes and detect signs of concussion in a football player before the medical team could, the release explains.

Developing such a fast and effective test is critical, as repeated impact on the young brain over time leaves damage similar to that caused by dementia, the release notes.

“We had the players walk while avoiding obstacles and while executing cognitive tasks. The combination of these two results established each individual’s personal signature,” Duval states in the release.

“Our measurements let us quickly detect concussion symptoms that could go unnoticed by health care professionals or by the young athletes themselves. The test we developed also simulates game situations, because in football, players are stimulated both physically and intellectually,” he adds.

[Source(s): University of Montreal, EurekAlert]