Last month, a new research study was published in the Journal of Neurotrauma that brings hope for parents as well as others with loved ones who play school sports like football or soccer, or who are otherwise at risk of a severe concussion and traumatic brain injury.
New Blood Test Helps Accident Victims, Athletes, and More
According to the report, a new kind of test has been developed where doctors in the emergency room who are facing someone brought in after suffering a blow to the head can take the patient’s blood. The simple blood test can then help the medical team figure out how serious and severe the head injury is, in ways that other tests cannot.
Why? Concussions and TBIs are notoriously mysterious and hard to diagnose, especially right after a blow to the head. Symptoms and signals that the patient has been seriously hurt and has suffered an injury to their brain can take some time to manifest — days, even weeks — and this blood test may help doctors narrow that time window.
The new brain injury blood test is called the BDNF.
It’s also going to be able to help car crash victims and other accident victims who may have suffered a blow to the head in a motor vehicle accident, an on the job work incident, or other kinds of accidents. The new blood test will help athletes who have concussions but it will also help lots of accident victims, too.
Delay in Diagnosis Can Mean More Harm to TBI Victim
This is great news for anyone concerned with the rapid diagnosis and treatment of brain injuries.
An estimated 2.4 million children and adults in the U.S. sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and another 795,000 individuals sustain an acquired brain injury (ABI) from non-traumatic causes each year.
Currently more than 5.3 million children and adults in the U.S. live with a lifelong disability as a result of TBI and an estimated 1.1 million have a disability due to stroke.
The Mayo Clinic warns that some brain injuries and concussions may not have any immediate symptoms, even though the victim has a permanent injury. This is because the brain itself may not demonstrate that there is an injury at the actual time it is hurt but only after hours or even days have passed.
Temporary loss of consciousness
Ringing in the ears
Delayed response to questions
Concentration and memory complaints
Sensitivity to light and noise
Psychological problems including depression
Disorders of taste and smell
Circulating Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) Has Diagnostic and Prognostic Value in Traumatic Brain Injury. Dr. Frederick Kofi Korley, Dr. Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, Dr. Alan H.B. Wu, Mr. John K. Yue, Dr. Geoffrey T. Manley M.D., Ph.D., Dr. Haris I. Sair, Dr. Jennifer Van Eyk, Dr. Allen D. Everett, Dr. David O Okonkwo, Dr. Alex Valadka, Dr. Wayne A Gordon, Prof. Andrew Maas, Dr. Pratik Mukherjee, Dr. Esther Lim Yuh, Ms. Hester Lingsma, Dr. Ava M. Puccio, and Dr. David M. Schnyer. Journal of Neurotrauma. -Not available-, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/neu.2015.3949. Online Ahead of Editing: July 10, 2015