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Biomarkers Can Now Identify Patients with Mild Brain Injury

At the Brain Injury Research Institute, our sole focus is to study the effects of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)—which is caused by repeated concussions and mild traumatic injuries to the brain. It is for this reason that we are excited about the new research that is being conducted on two biomarkers that have proven to help medical professionals identify patients with mild traumatic brain injury and head CT abnormalities. Not only will this help to reduce the number of scans that are being performed in emergency rooms across the United States, but it provides a means for objective diagnostic testing. Previously, doctors had to rely on a patient's recollection of the encounter and/or subjective symptoms to diagnose a brain injury.

According to Jeffrey J. Bazarian, MD, of the University of Rochester in New York, "Most of the time with patients who may have concussion, I'm guessing. They often can't tell me if they've been knocked out because they're intoxicated, demented or otherwise can't remember." Now, Serum S100B can be used to screen patients before they are subjected to a costly CT scan. This protein, which is derived from astrocytes, is already being used in 17 different countries throughout Europe and Asia. Along with ApoA-1, which is a protein that carries high-density lipoprotein particles, medical professionals can now use a combination of two biomarkers to objectively test for the possibility of mild traumatic brain injury. When studies were conducted to evaluate this theory, the results were hopeful.

Researchers prospectively studied 787 patients with mild traumatic brain injury by comparing the results to a group of 467 control subjects. They found that median levels of S100B were higher in test subjects than the control group. As a result, this biomarker alone was able to correctly diagnose brain injury in 38.1% of the cases that they studied—with ApoA-1 correctly identifying 30.4%. While this form of testing is still in a premature phase, the team at Brain Injury Research Institute is hopeful that this valuable research will make a significant impact on the medical community. By reducing the need for CT scans, unnecessary radiation exposure will inadvertently be reduced. Not to mention, emergency rooms across the country will be able to more effectively manage head-injured patients.

If you are interested in learning more about this cutting-edge research, we encourage you to review the full article on MedPage Today. If you would like to speak with a member of our dedicated team, do not hesitate to contact our office today at (412) 452-4447.


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Brain Injury Research Institute - Brain Injury Research Institute
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