Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (MSECE)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Thomas M. Talavage

Second Advisor

Edward J Delp

Committee Chair

Thomas M. Talavage

Committee Member 1

Edward J Delp

Committee Member 2

Jan P Allebach


Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), is a commonly occurred sports-related injury, especially in contact sports like football and soccer. Hemorrhage will appear as hypointense lesions on T2 *-weighted images, resulting from mTBI. Thus, T 2*-weighted gradient echo pulse sequence can be used to generate magnitude susceptibility-weighted (SW) images, and to further detect negative intensity changes of different regions of interests (ROIs) inside human brains. Our goal was to investigate how the ROI-specific intensity changes in each individual sports athlete over a single competition season and to interrogate whether these changes are correlated with repetitive subconcussive or concussive events. After a pipeline of processing steps on the magnitude SW images, three separate statistical analyses were applied to detect cerebral regions that are showing negative changes during the participation. Results are implying that a few statistically significant decreases were found in some certain ROIs among several sports athletes while most of the collision sports athletes exhibited no magnitude SW image changes during their own competition season. It is also shown that T2*-weighted imaging, while not ideal for asymptomatic athletes, can reveal changes in some mTBI subjects.