Recovery from sports-related injury is an issue made complex by the pressure
to return the patient to their game. However, we now know that injured
brains have a vulnerable window of time in which they can be more susceptible
to recurring injury.
Traditional tests of recovery include the subsiding of symptoms and improved
performance in neurocognitive assessment. However, a recent study using
qualitative electroencephalography (QEEG) has shown that signs of physiological
damage may persist even after symptoms subside and cognitive impairments
The implication of this study is that patients with sport-related brain
injuries may be returning to their sport too soon. Considering the window
of vulnerability the brain has to recurrent damage, the QEEG-which is
a portable, easy-to-use device-can be used as a more reliable marker of recovery.
McCrea M, Prichep L, Powell MR, et al. Acute effects and recovery after
sports-related concussion: A neurocognitive and quantitative brain electrical
Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. (July 2010).