Blood Test Developed to Detect Concussion

February 27, 2018, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

There was some exciting news earlier this month when the FDA approved a new blood test which can detect concussions. This is great news as it will eventually allow the faster and more accurate diagnosis of the presence of concussion, and it will avoid exposing injured individuals to unnecessary radiation from brain scans.

The new test, as reported in the New York Times is called the Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator. The test measures levels of the UCH-L1 and GFAP proteins in the blood stream. These proteins are released into the blood after head injury. The blood levels in the protein are present within 12 hours of brain injury, and the test results can be available within three to four hours. This represents a huge leap forward in the diagnosis, and then effective treatment of people with concussion.

Many concussions currently go undiagnosed or take days or weeks to diagnose as the symptoms may be delayed in presenting. Typically, a patient with suspected brain injury is assessed with a standard neurological exam. Depending on the findings, the patient may them have a CT scan to look for signs of lesions or tissue damage in the brain. However, we know that many concussions (brain injuries) are not evident on a CT scan so injured people may then go undiagnosed and untreated. Using this new test will allow the doctors or other medical professionals to detect the concussion, and to determine whether a CT scan is required.  CT scans are expensive and time consumptive. Many smaller centres don’t have CT scanners. The blood test will cost approximately $150 US.

A clinical trial of the blood test was very hopeful. The test involved 1947 individuals. The test predicted intracranial lesions on a CT scan 97.5% of the time and was correct in predicting no lesions in 99.6% of the tests.

Head injuries and brain injury (concussion) are a significant reason for attendance at Canadian hospital emergency rooms, and they are of particular concern in athletes, children and the elderly in slip and fall accidents. Concussion has been linked to long term cognitive and neurological deficits, and repeated concussions are strongly linked to diseases like CTE and Alzheimer’s.

Posted under Accident Benefit News, Brain Injury, Concussion Syndrome, Personal Injury

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

It is important that you review your accident benefit file with one of our experienced personal injury / car accident lawyers to ensure that you obtain access to all your benefits which include, but are limited to, things like physiotherapy, income replacement benefits, vocational retraining and home modifications.

Practice Areas

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