Neurobiological Effect of Selective Brain Cooling After Concussive Injury (Brain Imaging and Behavior)
Research out of Penn State Center for Sport Concussion shows potential benefit of targeted head cooling for athletic concussion
“Currently there are no clinically validated tools or procedures to treat concussive injury,” said Semyon Slobounov, professor of kinesiology and an author of the studies. “The results of these studies provide some preliminary evidence that concussive brains may benefit from science-based treatment, such as brain cooling and the use of a new supplement.”
The study used Welkins' FDA-cleared cooling system to explore the biological effects of lowering temperature on brain injuries in athletes. Athletes in the acute phase of injury, or within seven to 10 days of diagnosis, underwent functional MRI and arterial spin labeling testing – an MRI technique for measuring blood flow in tissues – before and after using the cooling device.
After cooling, concussed subjects reported temporary relief of concussion symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, concentration and memory difficulties. Researchers also noted increases in cerebral blood flow, or blood flow to the brain, after cooling was applied. “This study suggests that compromised brain functioning in the acute phase of injury could be temporarily restored with brain cooling,” Slobounov said.