Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) occur in an estimated 1.5 million to 3.8 million athletes each year, with about 300,000 occurring among members of the military annually. Common early symptoms are headaches, depression, loss of memory and loss of brain function. However, if the occurrence of a TBI is not immediately manifest, more severe symptoms can occur long after the injury.
Researchers at the University at Notre Dame have developed tablet software to analyze a person's speech at a given point in time. This speech analysis is then repeated a later date to see whether a person's speech pattern has changed. The computer is looking for such indicators as distorted vowels, hyper nasality and imprecise consonants. This tool could be used with football players, for example-with an analysis being conducted after a football game to see whether the athlete sustained a concussion.
The system is portable, accurate, low cost, and has been proven successful in comparison with other TBI detection tools. Almost 90 percent of concussions are not recognized, a fact which makes this portable technology all the more important.
Researchers scoring a win-win with novel set of concussion diagnostic tools. Science Daily. (March 2013).