Blood test may someday be used to diagnose TBIs

A new way to diagnose head injuries using biomarkers in the blood may be able to predict how long victims will suffer from the symptoms, according to a new study.


Dr. Frederick Korley of John’s Hopkins School of Medicine explained in an interview that currently the only way to test for traumatic brain injuries (aside from subjective neurological assessments as found in most sideline exams) is a CT scan. However, CT scans can only show bleeding on the brain, an important function of course. But about 90% of patients with head injuries have no bleeding but do have damage to brain cells.


But Korley has developed a way to evaluate head injuries based on the levels of a protein called brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the blood. Though right now there is no FDA-approved blood test for brain injury diagnosis, this could be a significant step toward that goal. If it does become an approved tool, we could soon be seeing more precise and better treatment for head injury victims.


*Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.