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NFL funds brain imaging research to study MEG Scans

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the National Football League to study a new way to diagnose traumatic brain injury through a brain imaging technique called Magnetoencephalography (MEG) and Diffusion Tensor Imaging.

Mild traumatic brain injuries don’t show up in a CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging, (MRI) but research at UCSD shows the injuries appear on MEG scans as slower-than-normal brain waves.

This type of testing can aid in the diagnosis of traumatic brain injury and can be used to support the findings of neuropsychological testing. 

The UCSD study, launched four years ago, has been funded by the Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs and the Brain Trauma Foundation in New York.

According to researchers at UCSD, the study now will concentrate on high school and college athletes, particularly football players, to refine and improve the diagnosis of brain injuries. The research will use the slower brain waves to calculate how much energy the brain is expending, and then correlate that information with memory and behavioral tests within three weeks of an injury and again six months later.

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