A Simple Blood Test May Be the Future of Brain Injury Diagnoses

AstrocyteResearchers at UCLA have identified certain proteins which appear in elevated levels in the blood of people who have suffered a concussion. This would be a huge improvement from the current Glascow Coma Score (GCS) and Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) tests done by first responders and coaches. It could be even more effective than expensive brain imaging like CT and MRI!

It is Estimated That Only 10-15% of Traumatic Brain Injuries are Detectable Through CT Scans and Traditional MRIs

Even though there may be widespread cellular or axonal damage throughout an entire lobe of the brain, if the damage components are smaller than what the MRI can detect, the brain injury goes undiagnosed. These blood tests are able to identify concussions which would not be visible by even the strongest MRIs because the microscopic cellular damage is evidenced by the appearance of proteins in the blood.

The results of the blood work are objectively graded by computers, meaning they are more difficult to dispute by a well paid defense expert than an imaging diagnosis, which requires a radiologist to interpret the images, or subjective, and in some cases unverifiable, complaints of TBI from the patient.

Our Blood is the Key to TBI Diagnosis

The proteins, referred to as biomarkers, reproduce rapidly in the blood of people who have suffered a concussion. These proteins are emitted by astrocytes, which are hard working cells in the brain, when the astrocytes burst open. Astrocytes multiply after brain trauma to help repair damaged cells and tissue, they are also often damaged in the process.

Early diagnosis and rest can be crucial to the outcome of a brain injury victim. It is unclear when this test will become widespread from the results of the study, but it appears to be a promising advancement in the treatment of people with concussions.

Brain injuries affect everyone uniquely, however there are certain trends to anticipate. For example, women and men react to TBIs differently. Brain injuries can be difficult to diagnose in children who have not yet attained the complex reasoning which would evidence the brain damage done by trauma. If you or a loved one is recovering from a brain injury after a car accident, bicycle accident, pedestrian collision, or a fall, contact our office to speak with a legal team experienced in brain injury cases.

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. "New biomarkers can detect concussions, even mild ones, through simple blood test." ScienceDaily, 31 October 2017.

 

Jim Dodson
A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.
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