Recent research indicates that cerebral blood flow recovery in the brain may serve as a biomarker of outcomes in patients post-concussion. The study appears online in JAMA Neurology.

The study’s background singles out reduced cerebral blood flow (CBF) as a marker of concussion severity in animal models, according to a news release issued by the JAMA Network Journals.

While conducting the research, Timothy B. Meier, PhD, the Mind Research Network/Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM, and co-authors investigated recovery of CBF in a group of 44 college football players and compared the course of CBF recovery with that of cognitive and behavioral symptoms.

The release notes that the study was conducted between March 2012 and December 2013.

Among the 44 players, researchers say 17 were concussed and had imaging performed one day, one week, and one month post-concussion. The release states that the study also encompassed 27 healthy football players as the control group.

The results suggest that both cognitive (simple reaction time) and neuropsychiatric symptoms at one day postinjury resolved at either one week postinjury or one month postinjury. The imaging data indicated CBF recovery in parts of the brain. The authors also reportedly found that CBF in the dorsal midinsular cortex part of the brain was decreased at one month post-concussion in slower-to-recover athletes and in athletes with the most severe initial psychiatric symptoms.

In the release, researchers conclude that the study provides prospective evidence of CBF and subsequent recovery following concussion in a homogenous sample of collegiate football athletes and also demonstrates the potential of qualified CBF as an objective biomarker for concussion.

Source(s): Science Daily, JAMA Network Journals