Cerebral Blood Flow Could Indicate Concussion Severity, Recovery

HealthDay News — Cerebral blood flow may help indicate the prognosis during initial concussion evaluation, and may also be indicative of progress and recovery, according to a study published in JAMA Neurology

The study was led by Timothy Meier, PhD, of the Mind Research Network/Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute in Albuquerque, N.M., and included 17 college football players who had suffered concussions, and a comparison group of 27 football players without concussion. The players with concussions underwent scans to measure CBF one day, one week, and one month after their concussion. The players in the control group also had their CBF checked. CBF was compared against the symptoms of players with concussion, as well.

Meier’s team found that players who had full recovery at either one week or one month after their concussions showed normal blood flow in the brain. However, CBF remained reduced in the dorsal midinsular cortex one month after concussion in players who were slower to recover, as well as in those with the most severe initial psychiatric symptoms.

“To our knowledge, this study provides the first prospective evidence of reduced CFB and subsequent recovery following concussion in a homogenous sample of collegiate football athletes,” the authors write.


  1. Meier TB. JAMA Neurol. 2015; doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.4778.