Engineers have created a portable device for the diagnosis of concussion using lasers. The development of researchers from the University of Michigan is presented at the Photonics West conference in San Francisco.
The new device is primarily useful for athletes who need a quick diagnosis for mild concussion, which they, depending on the sport, can get during the game or at competitions.
Concussions received repeatedly are of great danger - they increase the probability of death of brain cells. Meanwhile, repeated tremors often occur without obvious symptoms.
To speed up the diagnosis of concussions and increase the accuracy of the analysis, the researchers created a portable device that checks the condition of the patient’s brain cells with powerful lasers.
According to hightech.fm, the new method focuses on analyzing a key metabolic function in the brain driven by a molecule called cytochrome C oxidase, or CCO. Levels of this molecule decrease when brain cells are under stress. As a result, determining its activity makes it possible to understand whether brain tissue is metabolized in the way a healthy brain does, or if it suffers from trauma, such as a concussion.
Earlier, the first blood test to determine the severity of a concussion was approved by the US Department of Health (FDA). This test accurately and quickly diagnoses patients with intracranial injuries, eliminating the need to undergo expensive and time-consuming computed tomography.