December 12, 2014 – : Brain Injury and Deficits


Anchor lead: Can a new technique help answer the question of how repeated sports-related head injury impacts the brain? Elizabeth Tracey reports

The NFL and other sports organizations have a vested interest in determining the consequences of head injury experienced by players.  Jennifer Coughlin, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, have recently reported a technique using PET imaging and a very specific tracer in nine former NFL players that may help.

Coughlin: I think that this technology is going to prove useful.  :05

Coughlin says imaging targets something called the translocator protein or TSPO, a marker of brain injury and repair.

Coughlin: The technology allows us to visualize changes in TSPO in real time in real people.  So theoretically if we have funding and the support to image players at any stage of their career and professional play, we have the capacity to do that.   :21

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.