Testing for a Concussion


This post is based on an excerpt from the article titled “Blood Test Might Help Spot, Monitor Concussions” that appeared in HealthDay News.


2014-0310 hockey_concussionThe reason why the tool described in this post is important to all people, who are directly or indirectly affected by brain injury, is the tool – or a variation of the tool – may, in the future, help define the ideal treatment and estimate the time to recovery for many types of brain injury, not just concussions. In other words, the tool could be extremely helpful to doctors, therapists, and caregivers, as well as survivors, their families, and their friends.

Article Excerpt

Swedish researchers report they have found a way to test blood for a protein called total tau (T-tau), which is released when the brain is injured. The amount of T-tau is apparently the key to diagnosing a concussion and predicting when [athletes, employees, and students] can get back into the game.

“We have a biomarker [indicator] that is elevated in the blood of [hockey] players with a concussion,” said lead researcher Dr. Pashtun Shahim, from the department of neurochemistry at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Molndal. “The level of T-tau within the first hour after concussion correlates with the number of days you have symptoms. We can use this biomarker to both diagnose concussion and to monitor the course of concussion until the patient is free of symptoms.”

Shahim added that by watching the level of T-tau drop over time, it is possible to predict when symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, trouble concentrating, memory problems, and headaches will disappear.

This initial trial involved only 28 hockey players, so the findings need to be reproduced in larger trials, the researchers pointed out, and Shahim suspects it will be a couple of years before this test would find its way into clinical practice.

Mild concussions generally don’t cause loss of consciousness, but they can result in dizziness, nausea, trouble concentrating, memory problems and headaches. Severe concussions can cause temporary loss of consciousness [and the other symptoms just described for mild concussion].

Call to Action

If you know of any technology, or you have any tips, that could help in the diagnosis or recovery of any type of brain-related adversity, please share your comments in the text box below this post. Thank you.


Click here to read the original article.

Thanks to Dr. Pashtun Shahim, from the department of neurochemistry at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Molndal and his team for finding a marker that may someday improve the diagnosis of concussed or brain injured individuals; HealthDay News for summarizing the research findings; and all people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text I used in this post.

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