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What evidence exists for new strategies or technologies in the diagnosis of sports concussion and assessment of recovery?
  1. Jeffrey Scott Kutcher1,
  2. Paul McCrory2,
  3. Gavin Davis2,3,
  4. Alain Ptito4,5,6,
  5. Willem H Meeuwisse7,8,
  6. Steven P Broglio9
  1. 1Department of Neurology, Michigan NeuroSport, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  2. 2The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3Cabrini Medical Centre, Malvern, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4Department of Psychology, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  5. 5Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  6. 6Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  7. 7Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  8. 8Faculty of Medicine, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  9. 9Michigan NeuroSport, School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jeffrey S Kutcher, Department of Neurology, Michigan NeuroSport, University of Michigan, 2301 Commonwealth Blvd., Room 1031, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, USA; jkutcher{at}


Objective The purpose of this critical review is to summarise the evidence for the following technologies/strategies related to diagnosing or managing sports-related concussion: quantitative EEG, functional neuroimaging, head impact sensors, telemedicine and mobile devices.

Data sources MEDLINE, PubMed, Cochrane Controlled Trials Registers, SportDiscus, EMBASE, Web of Science and ProQuest databases. Primary search keywords were concussion, sports concussion and mild traumatic brain injury. The keywords used for secondary, topic specific searches were quantitative electroencephalography, qEEG, functionalMRI, magnetoencephalography, near-infrared spectroscopy, positron emission tomography, single photon emissionCT, accelerometer, impact sensor, telemetry, remote monitoring, robotic medicine, telemedicine, mobile device, mobile phone, smart phone and tablet computer.

Results The primary search produced 8567 publications. The secondary searches produced nine publications that presented original data, included a comparison group in the study design and involved sports-related concussion. Four studies spoke to the potential of qEEG as a diagnostic or management tool, while five studies addressed the potential of fMRI to be used in the same capacity.

Conclusions Emerging technologies and novel approaches that aid in sports concussion diagnosis and management are being introduced at a rapid rate. While some technologies show promise, their clinical utility remains to be established.

  • Neurology
  • Concussion
  • Contact sports
  • Athletics

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