A Blood Test With the Potential to Detect Past Concussions

NorthShore University HealthSystem pic

NorthShore University HealthSystem
Image: northshore.org

Dr. Morris Kharasch is a respected Chicago area physician who practices with the NorthShore University HealthSystem as chief of emergency medicine. Dr. Morris Kharasch maintains an active interest in his field and the way in which emergency physicians drive innovations in health care.

An Orlando Health emergency medicine physician recently led a study of approximately 600 patients who underwent treatment at the Orlando Regional Medical Center. Half of the patients suffered concussions from sports incidents, falls, and vehicle accidents, with the majority of them mild. Symptoms ranged from amnesia to loss of consciousness. The other patients had experienced non-brain trauma such as fractures.

Blood samples taken from the patients periodically over a week revealed that a head trauma-related protein seemed to be present in patients’ blood throughout that duration. This suggests that even patients who delay seeking treatment may be able to have the root concussion detected through a simple blood test. The use of biomarkers in concussion diagnosis will require significant research and its use in a clinical setting is likely years away.

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