Traumatic brain injury (TBI) or commonly referred to as concussion is a complex medical condition that requires thorough assessment before a diagnosis can be given. But a new study claimed that a new blood test could quickly screen this brain trauma almost instantly.
Before, it takes days, or even weeks before a neurologist can diagnose a person with suspected traumatic brain injury (TBI) because of this condition’s complexity. And the traditional diagnostic procedure often relies on the subjective judgment of the clinician, which in some cases is not free from errors.
But this time, a group of researchers from the Orlando Health has devised an ingenious way of detecting TBI before it gets even worse. The new blood test works by detecting the presence of two key biomarkers, such as Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1).
These biomarkers are specialized types of protein released by the brain in times of severe head concussion and passes through the brain-blood barrier to the bloodstream. According to the report, these proteins remain detectable in the blood for up to a week after the head trauma.
In a statement obtained by Newsweek, Dr. Linda Papa said the blood test that they devised will revolutionize the diagnostic process for head injury related cases. Their findings was published in the Journal of American Medical Association Neurology Division.
“This could ultimately change the way we diagnose concussions, not only in children, but in anyone who sustains a head injury. We have so many diagnostic blood tests for different parts of the body, like the heart, liver and kidneys, but there’s never been a reliable blood test to identify trauma in the brain. We think this test could change that,” Papa said in a statement as quoted by the Newsweek.
Papa, who led the research team, noted that this would also help improve the treatment process since early diagnosis is an important aspect of effective treatment.