Doctors are waiting for a test that is both accurate and specific to concussion, a test that won’t be confused by other conditions, he said.
“Although there were changes in the myelin, it is uncertain what this represents and we are not ready to use the changes to determine return to play,” Lloyd-smith said.
While MRI provides a window into the kind of damage that concussion inflicts on the brain, it is not yet realized as a diagnostic tool.
“We don’t have ideal tools at present, but we do have access to a student athlete population that is ideal for this kind of research,” he said. “The tools that we have right now are not the tools that we will have 10 years from now, but they are better than the tools we used 10 years ago.”
Rauscher’s findings were published in the peer-reviewed open access journals PLOS One and Frontiers in Neurology.