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Portable, Low-Cost Optical Imaging Tool Useful in Concussion Evaluation
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences have conducted optical-imaging research, employing functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), and their findings provide preliminary support for the tool as a low-cost, portable device for imaging sports and military concussions. The fNIRS unit works like a pulse oximeter for the brain. It measures blood flow to the brain by sending light signals from sensors mounted in a three-pound headcap, then producing images of blood oxygen changes - representing brain activity - by recording the absorption of light at different colors. The fNIRS produced readouts while participants wearing the bandana-like headcap took a computerized neurocognitive test and matched the test in revealing the brain"s struggles to complete specific cognitive tasks.
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