New Blood Test for Concussion Developed
Researchers have developed a blood test that determines whether head trauma resulting in concussion has occurred with greater than 90 percent accuracy. Currently, concussion diagnosis depends on an assessment of patient symptoms and clinical judgement. An accurate diagnosis is important to reduce the risk for serious complications, and this new test could be a game-changer.
The relatively inexpensive blood test uses a type of blood profiling called metabolomics. For the test, blood is drawn from the patient within 72 hours of the incident—a sudden blow to the head or blow to the body strong enough to transmit forces to the head. Small molecules in the blood—products of the body's metabolism—are measured. When a concussion has occurred, these molecules (called metabolites) appear in distinct patterns.
Concussions cause acute symptoms and, in some cases, can lead to long-term neurological problems. According to researchers, this new test could not only aid in the diagnosis, but also could be used to better predict patient outcomes and provide important information during rehabilitation following concussion.
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