MEG measured delta waves increase in adolescents after concussion

Elizabeth M. Davenport, Jillian E. Urban, Christopher Vaughan, Jesse C. DeSimone, Ben Wagner, Mark A. Espeland, Alexander K. Powers, Christopher T. Whitlow, Joel D. Stitzel, Joseph A. Maldjian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The purpose of this study is to determine if delta waves, measured by magnetoencephalography (MEG), increase in adolescents due to a sports concussion. Methods: Twenty-four adolescents (age 14–17) completed pre- and postseason MRI and MEG scanning. MEG whole-brain delta power was calculated for each subject and normalized by the subject's total power. In eight high school football players diagnosed with a concussion during the season (mean age = 15.8), preseason delta power was subtracted from their postseason scan. In eight high school football players without a concussion (mean age = 15.7), preseason delta power was subtracted from postseason delta power and in eight age-matched noncontact controls (mean age = 15.9), baseline delta power was subtracted from a 4-month follow-up scan. ANOVA was used to compare the mean differences between preseason and postseason scans for the three groups of players, with pairwise comparisons based on Student's t-test method. Results: Players with concussions had significantly increased delta wave power at their postseason scans than nonconcussed players (p =.018) and controls (p =.027). Conclusion: We demonstrate that a single concussion during the season in adolescent subjects can increase MEG measured delta frequency power at their postseason scan. This adds to the growing body of literature indicating increased delta power following a concussion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBrain and Behavior
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • concussion
  • delta waves
  • football
  • magnetoencephalography (MEG)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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