Sunday, March 29, 2015

Biomarkers for Concussion Diagnosis

The subjectivity of concussion diagnosis is a major hurdle in assessing the extent of traumatic brain injury. Researchers at Brown University have determined a more quantifiable means of concussion diagnosis through the use of biomarkers.

The researchers have focused on detecting proteins that are released from dying brain cells, and they have found four potential proteins for biomarker use. They hope to develop a microfluidic chip for commercial use, since the current method for biomarker measurement is with standard assays.

The researchers state that the microfluidic chip will provide accurate results in about two hours, which is not convenient for return to play guidelines for on-field related traumatic brain injury. For comparison, the ImPACT concussion test, the most widely used cognitive concussion protocol, is a 45 minute test, which is still considered lengthy in terms RTP guidelines during competition. Rapid and reliable concussion diagnosis remains a big issue in the field of sports medicine.