Often, while watching football and hockey games, we hear that a player is being evaluated for a concussion. You’ve likely heard about young girls developing a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as the result of “heading” the soccer ball. Auto and home accidents, violence and falls also often result in concussions. Almost 5 million Americans show up in an emergency room each year to be assessed for a brain injury.

Over 80 percent of the cases appearing at emergency rooms result in a CT scan of the head. While it can be reassuring that screening for TBI is taken seriously, current statistics suggest that about a million cases of TBI go undetected despite these efforts. Research shows that about a third of patients that have normal results on a CT scan showed damaging brain changes when the more sensitive MRI test was used.

Medical Discovery News is hosted by professors Norbert Herzog at Quinnipiac University, and David Niesel of the University of Texas Medical Branch. Learn more at www.medicaldiscoverynews.com.

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