Boone County Health Alert: Concussions could be changing brain chemistry. Doctor Explains

Cover Image: Boone County Health Alert:  Concussions could be changing brain chemistry. Doctor Explains

A new study is showing that an association between post-concussion headaches and brain iron accumulation may offer a new lens through which to view and treat traumatic brain injuries.

The Big Picture: Dr. Puja Uppal, Family Medicine, "Keep that noggin' safe!"

Doctor's Expert Insights about the Concussions and Brain Health in Boone County, Indiana

Know this: "After a concussion, certain things do change in the brain. And, this research sheds light on the connection between concussions, headaches, and increased iron in the brain. Increased Iron levels in the brain may serve as a potential biomarker for understanding brain injuries in the future--but a lot more research is needed.

You should know that concussions, even mild ones, can have lasting effects on brain health. It's crucial to take concussions seriously. Seek proper medical attention, and allow adequate time for recovery to minimize the risk of long-term consequences on brain health." Dr. Puja Uppal, Family Medicine.

Next Steps: The study also noted that iron levels tended to increase with the time elapsed since the injury. This may suggest a progressive aspect to this phenomenon. In other words, you want to minimize the number of concussions a person has over their entire lifetime.

Health News Today: Iron Levels in the Brain May be Used as a Test for Concussion Damage.

Key Findings for you in for Boone County:


The study used MRI with T2* mapping to compare brain iron accumulation between individuals with acute post-traumatic headaches and healthy controls.

Statistical analyses, including paired t-tests and multiple linear regression, were employed to determine group differences and correlations between iron accumulation and various factors related to post-trumatic headace (PTH) and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) severity.


Lower T2* values--indicating iron accumulation--were observed in various brain regions of PTH participants. Some of the brain regions include the right supramarginal area, left occipital, bilateral precuneus, right cuneus, right cerebellum, and more.

This finding suggests that individuals with acute post-traumatic headache (PTH) have increased iron accumulation in specific brain regions compared to healthy individuals.

Within PTH subjects, there was a positive correlation between the number of lifetime mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) and iron accumulation in the right gyrus rectus and right putamen.

Meaning, the more mTBIs an individual with PTH had experienced in their lifetime--the more iron accumulation was observed in specific brain regions.

Headache frequency in PTH subjects positively correlated with T2* values in the posterior corona radiata, bilateral temporal, right frontal, bilateral supplemental motor area, left fusiform, right hippocampus, sagittal striatum, and left cerebellum.

Individuals with PTH who experienced more frequent headaches had an increased iron accumulation in those specific brain regions.

However, Simona Nikolova, PhD. cautioned, "since the study used an indirect measure of iron burden, it’s possible that the change in that measure could be due to other factors such as hemorrhage or changes in tissue water rather than iron accumulation." (Study Editorial)


The study's findings indicate that iron accumulation in specific brain regions could serve as a biological marker for identifying and assessing the severity of mild traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic headaches.

Medical News Today: Key Takeaway for You in Boone County

The implications of this research extend into the future of healthcare. Especially neurology and brain injury management. Understanding the role of iron accumulation as a potential biomarker for concussion and associated headaches could revolutionize our approach to diagnosing and treating traumatic brain injuries

What They're Saying: "Iron accumulation is observed in brain regions of PTH participants relative to HC. Positive correlations of iron accumulation with headache frequency, number of lifetime mTBIs and time since mTBI suggest that iron accumulation is a biomarker of mTBI and PTH, potentially informing underlying pathophysiology." (Study Source)

Health Standard Newswire: It's crucial for those experiencing post-traumatic headaches to consult healthcare professionals.

Medical News and Statistics for Boone County, Indiana

The following health facts impact your physical health directly!

Did you know there were 852 deaths from Parkinson's disease in Indiana in 2021?

32% of you in Boone County are sleeping less than 7 hours per night.

21.6% of you in Boone County have depression.

14% of you in Boone County state that your mental health is not good.

All of these variables above play an important role in the outcomes of your overall health.

The Health Standard Newswire.