Great news on the TBI detection front – a simple test to check for mTBI

Military blood test may detect mild brain injuries – The Chart – Blogs

Military medical researchers are optimistic that they have developed a blood test that can detect if someone has suffered a concussion or a mild traumatic brain injury.

“This is a breakthrough” says Col. Dallas Hack, director of the Army’s Combat Casualty Care Research Program.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a big concern for the military, particularly milder forms, because unlike TBI, milder injuries cannot be seen on X-rays, CT scans or MRIs

Having a simple blood test would be useful not only for the military but for civilians as well.  If more research confirms the efficacy of this test, it could also be used on people who are injured on the football field, in a car accident or any other situation where the head hits  something hard. “It can make a significant benefit to mankind,” Hack says.  He compares this new test to the so-called troponin test,  a blood test given in cases of  suspected heart disease;  it can detect proteins that are released when heart muscle is damaged.

The new brain blood test works in a similar way. After blood is drawn, researchers have been able to detect at least two proteins that are normally found in brain cells and are released when the cells break open after somebody suffers a brain injury. Hack says they have found that the level of proteins released from the injured cells are high enough, that they cross the blood-brain barrier and therefore can be detected in measurable quantities.

Read the whole article here

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

5 thoughts on “Great news on the TBI detection front – a simple test to check for mTBI”

  1. This is a step but there are many more

    1. This is FAR from being available

    2. It is not clear to me if this test is of use after a certain point post injury – if you are 3 years out TBI will you still have those biomarkers in your bloodstream?

    3. What does this test mean to folks – if you have an official ‘tbi’ are you then classified as brain damaged? There will have to be a lot of education done to make this not become a way of classifying people – for example can you get life insurance if you have a positive tbi test? and that sort of thing.

    4. Part of this is the question can you be positive for the biomarker and not have symptomatology? That is not have cognitive issues?

    It’s good to have a diagnostic tool – but even more I would like better ways to help people recover, more support and funding on how to help people with tbi, etc


  2. All true. I envision this test being useful in situations where a quick decision needs to be made about how to proceed, where there is a lack of either experience or clear indicators of what’s going on — in battle conditions or in a sports game or in some other kind of situation which requires an objective and reliable determination of injury.

    The life insurance question is an important one. Education will need to take place.

    I think that the biomarker is just a starting point. But there’s always the danger that people will jump to conclusions and assume some level of symptomology.

    I, too, am more interested in helping people recover. That, to me, is where the bulk of the money and energy needs to go. But I think this test can fill an important gap.

    Here’s hoping…


  3. I hope I am not sounding too negative – It’s been rough – lost my job (long story) and feeling a great deal of frustration with many issues – but hanging in. Meant to tell you I was on the radio talking about BI too –


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