New Blood Test Helps Predict Presence and Severity Of Concussion in Athletes

May 03, 2018, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Researchers in Sweden have developed a new blood test to use a tool to determine when returning to play is safe for athletes with concussion. Until now we have relied heavily on self reporting and testing cognitive performance to determine when athletes return to play. This new test will make the decision more objective. This study confirms that blood testing will become an excellent diagnostic tool.

The article Neurofilament light and tau as blood biomarkers for sports-related concussion was published in the April issue of Neurology. The study followed 288 professional hockey players for a three-year timespan. 105 athletes sustained a sports related concussion (SRC) over that time. Of them, 87 players underwent blood sampling at 1, 12, 36 and 144 hours post injury. The researchers found that NfL (a protein neurofilament light) was the clearest indicator of the severity of the concussion. Severity was measured by the number of days it took the players to return to play. NfL was observed to be released into the blood stream within and hour of concussion occurring. It continued to increase in concentration in those players whose concussion symptoms were more severe.

By using the blood serum levels of NfL as the measure of when it is safe to play the researchers hope to reduce the number of players developing long-term symptoms, and from suffering repeat concussions by preventing players from returning to activity prematurely.The levels of NfL in the blood will also help doctors to identify players who are at higher risk for developing persistent post-concussion symptoms.

Posted under Accident Benefit News, Concussion Syndrome

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