Blood test for concussions?

by dr.g

Traumatic brain injury
Image via Wikipedia

If in fact this or a similar blood test that detects mild traumatic brain injury is approved it would be huge for clinicians and patients. Until it is we have to rely on clinical exam findings and MRI as well as caution and good judgement, especially with children and athletics. As I stated in my last blog post chiropractic can be very effective in reducing the symptoms associated with concussion or mild traumatic brain injury like headaches and neck pain. Enjoy the enclosed article.

Dr. G

“Army finds simple blood test to identify mild brain trauma

By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY

FREDERICK, Md. — The Army says it has discovered a simple blood test that can diagnose mild traumatic brain damage or concussion, a hard-to-detect injury that can affect young athletes, infants with “shaken baby syndrome” and combat troops.

“This is huge,” said Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army vice chief of staff.

Army Col. Dallas Hack, who has oversight of the research, says recent data show the blood test, which looks for unique proteins that spill into the blood stream from damaged brain cells, accurately diagnosing mild traumatic brain injury in 34 patients.

Doctors can miss these injuries because the damage does not show up on imaging scans, and symptoms such as headaches or dizziness are ignored or downplayed by the victims.”

A peer-reviewed study of 66 patients led by Banyan scientists and published this year in the journal Critical Care Medicine showed that patients with the most severe brain injury had levels of a biomarker called UCH-L1 that were 16 times the level found in patients without brain injury.

Banyan scientists this year also published conclusions in the European Journal of Neuroscience that the same chemical, UCH-L1, was sharply elevated in rats with injuries designed to mimic both brain injury and stroke.”

Papa L, Akinyi L, Liu MC, Pineda JA, Tepas JJ 3rd, Oli MW, Zheng W, Robinson G, Robicsek SA, Gabrielli A, Heaton SC, Hannay HJ, Demery JA, Brophy GM, Layon J, Robertson CS, Hayes RL, Wang KK. Ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase is a novel biomarker in humans for severe traumatic brain injury. Crit Care Med. 2010 Jan;38(1):138-44.

Liu MC, Akinyi L, Scharf D, Mo J, Larner SF, Muller U, Oli MW, Zheng W, Kobeissy F, Papa L, Lu XC, Dave JR, Tortella FC, Hayes RL, Wang KK. Ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase-L1 as a biomarker for ischemic and traumatic brain injury in rats. Eur J Neurosci. 2010 Feb;31(4):722-32.

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