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February 19, 2018

First Blood Test For Concussions Approved by the FDA

In recent years, many sports organizations including the NFL, have made numerous rule changes to their concussion protocol in order to identify concussions more quickly – mere moments from the time of impact. Determining concussions by symptoms may not always be clear, as symptoms might take days, weeks, or even months to appear after the initial impact. As a result, if a concussion is suspected, a diagnosis is typically made through imaging techniques such as a CT scan. Unfortunately, CT scans don’t always detect concussions, leaving players, and others suffering from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), more susceptible to further injury in the future.

However, scientists and researchers are pleased to announce the recent authorization by the FDA to market the Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator: the first blood test to help detect concussions in adults.

When the brain is injured after impact, proteins known as UCH-L1 and GFAP are released, and for a short period of time, those protein levels are elevated. The Brain Trauma Indicator measures these protein levels which are then used to predict which patients may have intracranial lesions that will be visible by CT scan.

The latest clinical trial investigated 1,947 blood samples taken from adults who were suspected of having a concussion and compared the blood test results to the CT scan results the individuals initially received. The Brain Trauma Indicator predicted the presence of intracranial lesions with 97.5 percent accuracy. Additionally, the Brain Trauma Indicator was able to predict the absence of intracranial lesions with an astounding 99.6 percent accuracy. These results indicate that the Brain Trauma Indicator can be a valuable and accurate tool for medical professionals when determining if the injured patient will benefit from a CT scan, which can be costly and expose the patient to unnecessary radiation.

Slip and falls, auto accidents, and sports related injuries are common ways for an individual to sustain a concussion.  Every concussion injures the brain, creating a cumulative effect. One concussion makes an individual more likely to sustain a second, especially if that individual is playing a high contact sport like football. Repeated concussive or sub-concussive blows to the head can cause a type of neurodegenerative disease known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE. Symptoms of CTE typically do not begin until years after injury, slowly progressing from behavioral problems and mood swings, to trouble thinking and dementia.

Effects from a concussion may only be apparent for a few days, but the damage from a TBI can last a life time. At Goldberg, Persky & White, P.C., we are dedicated to helping injured individuals and are available to discuss your needs in a free consultation. By working with the best medical professionals, GPW has the ability and opportunity to fight for the compensation you deserve.



U.S. Food & Drug Administration, “FDA Authorized Marketing of First Blood Test to Aid in the Evaluation of Concussion in Adults,” Press Release (February 14, 2017). [Link]

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