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Subiaco Petanque Club
Nicholson Rd and Thomas St
Subiaco, WA 6008

Concussion is a highly prevalent injury both in Australia and around the world. However, we currently lack clinically validated objective tools to determine its severity or offer prognostic insight. While most people recover from concussion within a few weeks or months, emerging evidence suggests that up to 50% of individuals experience post-concussive symptoms for more than three months after injury, a condition termed persistent post-concussion symptoms (PPCS). It is believed that subtle damage to the brain's white matter, which continues to evolve and worsen in the weeks and months post-injury, may be responsible for symptom burden and prolonged recovery time. The microscopic nature of this damage means that it cannot be identified on clinical computed tomography (CT) or clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and there are currently no alternative objective tests available.

Melissa's research investigates novel biomarkers of white matter damage in individuals with concussion in both the acute and chronic phases. Her work utilizes a novel neuroimaging method, diffusion MRI, which allows for microscopic investigation of white matter damage that is undetectable by current methods. In addition to neuroimaging, she also explores blood-based biomarkers to provide insight into specific pathological processes associated with post-concussive white matter injury. The integration of these methods offers a more comprehensive understanding of the brain after a concussion, enabling clinical management to be guided toward early interventions and treatments that alleviate symptom burden and expedite recovery.