Concussions are often referred to as invisible injuries because they are hard to detect. Fortunately, over the years there have been some advances in medicine that enable those in the medical field to detect even the tiniest signs of injury in the brain.
The medical advances below can be used to prove concussion in personal injury cases.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of Hemosiderin Deposits
MRI is a standard tool used in radiology as this device offers high resolution images in good contrast between different tissues. According to John Hopkins Medicine, MRI can detect tiny bleedings in the brain by imaging hemosiderin deposits. Hemosiderin is a brownish pigment containing iron. Deposits of hemosiderin appear wherever there is bleeding.
Susceptibility Weighted Imaging (SWI)
SWI is an advance form of neuroimaging technique. This modern neuroimaging technique is known to be 3 to 6 times more sensitive than the traditional MRI methods. It is particularly used for detecting very small hemorrhages resulting from trauma to the brain. The use of this modern neuroimaging technique enables radiologists to see the size and number of tiny injuries in the brain.
Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) Scan
SPECT scan is a method that can identify concussions by imaging regional cerebral blood flow. Studies have shown that SPECT can uncover brain trauma in clinically complex, treatment-unresponsive or treatment resistant conditions. In a study published in the journal PLUS ONE, researchers led by Cyrus Raji found that SPECT has higher sensitivity compared to computerized tomography (CT) scan or MRI in detecting traumatic brain injury.
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)
According to the UCSD Center for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, fMRI is a technique for measuring and mapping brain activity. The imaging center said fMRI is being used in a growing number of studies to understand how the normal functions of the brain are disrupted by disease or injury.
Recently, researchers from Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University have developed a new blood test that identifies with greater than 90 percent certainty whether or not an individual has suffered a concussion. In a study published in the journal Metabolomics, researchers led by Mark Daley wrote that metabolomics – a form of blood profiling – identified concussed athletes with greater than 90% certainty.
It will be some time before this blood test is generally accepted in the medical and legal community, but hopefully it will assist in proving these invisible and quite disabling invisible injuries.