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Traumatic Brain Injuries Could Now Be Diagnosed with a Blood Test

Traumatic Brain Injuries Could Now Be Diagnosed with a Blood Test

Traumatic Brain Injuries Could Now Be Diagnosed with a Blood Test 150 150 CMZ Law Lufkin/Houston

How can a blood test determine if you have suffered a brain injury?

With millions of Americans suffering from brain injuries every year, diagnosing a brain injury rapidly is of critical importance.  Serious traumatic brain injuries need rapid treatment to prevent potentially long term brain damage or death.  Now, the first blood test designed to diagnose brain injuries has gained approval by the Food and Drug Administration.  While it may take time for the blood test to gain acceptance and improve in diagnostic abilities, it could potentially have a positive impact on the outcome of traumatic brain injuries for thousands of people. 

Detecting Brain Injuries Through the Bloodstream

Banyan Biomarkers has to lead the charge with the development of a blood test to detect some types of traumatic brain injuries.  While the test does not yet detect mild concussions, it opens the door for continued technological advances in the field of blood testing.  Soon, it could become standard to run a blood test on all patients suspected of traumatic brain injuries to aid in rapid diagnosis.

The blood test created by Banyan Biomarkers detects two different proteins that are found in brain cells.  When the brain is injured, these proteins can leak into the bloodstream.  The test has been found to detect brain cell proteins within 12 hours from the brain injury.  As of now, the test can assist doctors in determining which patients with serious concussions may have bleeding in the brain or another critical brain injury.

Patients that test positive in the blood test will then be sent for a CT scan to examine the brain.  At that point, the physician may recommend surgery or another treatment option.  The test could be used in emergency rooms as soon as the end of this year and it could potentially be used on football fields, in battlefields, and elsewhere in the near future.  

Banyan’s blood test could potentially avoid exposing patients with negative results to unnecessary CT scans, which emit radiation.  Physicians can employ the blood test to strengthen their diagnosis of brain injuries.  While the test is not yet sensitive enough to rule out basic concussions, with ever evolving medical technologies, the test will likely improve in the future.  Blood tests such as this one could represent the future of head trauma treatment nationwide.