Friday, October 15, 2010

Blood test for concussion

No more radioactive CT scans or vague stay-home and rest instructions.

Well, this may be coming. The Army has discovered a test that pinpoints brain chemicals released by damaged brain cells.

This is huge, one investigator says.

Doctors can miss these injuries on scans—and parents never know whether to keep a kid home or get an ER opinion or what.

In addition, there is a huge push now to treat concussion or possible concussion more seriously—repeated head blows can permanently injure football, basketball, and other players, starting at junior high and even earlier.

This blood test has to be refined and is going into final clinical trials. The FDA will have to approve.

There could be obstacles—some researchers say doing the blood test only on head trauma patients in ERs may hit the most severe cases. More common is the concussed person who can walk and talk—but has still sustained a mild brain injury and is susceptible to cumulative damage if something else happens.

We will stay tuned.

In the meantime, parents, if your kid takes a hit—please consult a doctor. It may be more serious than you know.

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