Published: Fri, February 16, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

Blood test detects concussion related brain damage

Blood test detects concussion related brain damage

The test was assessed in a multi-center study involving 2,000 blood sampled from adults who had suspected concussions. Results, available within four hours, can help doctors decide whether to perform a CT scan. Banyan applied its test to nearly 2,000 blood samples taken from patients with suspected concussion and compared the results to CT scans.

Additionally, while the test itself can be administered as soon as 15 minutes after the individual is suspected of having a concussion, it can take as long as three hours or more for the results to be produced, essentially killing its potential to be used as sideline tool for diagnosis. Banyan hopes it will eventually make its way to professional sports and the military.

Today's action supports the FDA's Initiative to Reduce Unnecessary Radiation Exposure from Medical Imaging - an effort to ensure that each patient is getting the right imaging exam, at the right time, with the right radiation dose.

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Traumatic brain injuries affect an estimated 10 million people globally each year; at least 2 million of them are treated in USA emergency rooms. The test accurately predicted the presence of brain lesions 97.5% of the time, proving its mettle as a new tool in brain injuries.

Kounang also cited Hank Nordhoff, chairman and CEO of Banyan Biomarkers, who noted that the new test would be significantly less expensive than the CT Scans.

The move means Banyan Biomarkers can commercialize its test, giving the company an early lead in the biotech industry's race to find a way to diagnose concussions.

San Diego-based Banyan has partnered with French firm bioMerieux SA to market the test to hospitals using bioMerieux's blood analyzing machines.

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Levels of the blood proteins after mTBI can help predict patients that could have intracranial lesions visible by CT scan and those that won't.

The findings indicate that the test can reliably predict the absence of intracranial lesions. He was not involved in the development of the test.

"A blood test to aid in concussion evaluation is an important tool for the American public and for our service members overseas who need access to quick and accurate tests", Jeffrey Shuren, MD, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in the release.

It's also unknown how this test can determine subconcussive hits, "hits that don't cause symptoms but do cause a brain injury", he explained.

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