Artificial intelligence may help detect long-term concussions in athletes

The effects of concussions can be disastrous for athletes, both at the time the damage occurs and even years later after they’ve hung up their pads. Unfortunately, these injuries can be hard to diagnose when athletes get older because experts don’t know if they can attribute symptoms to past head trauma or to other factors like unrelated neurological conditions or the aging process. In fact, the only way to prove the presence of brain damage caused by a concussion up until now has been through a post-mortem examination, which is obviously not too helpful to patients who are still alive and kicking. But researchers from the Université de Montreal, The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), and the Ludmer Center for NeuroInformatics are developing new methods to address this deficiency. Using artificial intelligence, the researchers have developed a diagnostic signature that can accurately detect the presence of long-term concussions which may have caused lasting brain damage. “With 1.6 to 3.8 million concussions per year in the US alone, the prevalence of this injury is alarming,” said first author Dr. Sebastien Tremblay. “It is unacceptable that no objective tools or techniques yet exist to diagnose them, not to mention the sheer…


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