It has been determined that nearly 160,000 Canadians suffer a brain injury every year with over half of them as a result of motor vehicle accidents and falls. Another 30 percent occurs in youth as a result of sports or other recreational. Much recent media has explored the long-term effects of concussions due to sporting activities.
What is a Concussion?
According to Brain Injury Canada, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body. This causes the brain to move inside the skull, causing a variety of symptoms. Left unattended, a concussion can lead to long-term damage to the brain that may impact the rest of the body.
Last year, researchers at the University of Western Ontario published promising research about a blood test that was able to establish whether someone had sustained a concussion. These researchers measured changes in the molecules that were produced in cell metabolism in those who had sustained concussions. The testing showed a clear change in the metabolites of injured parties. They are hoping that this may lead to new methods of diagnosing concussions in the future.
The Prevailing Diagnostic Tools
Up until this point, diagnoses of concussions were based on very subjective symptoms. In most cases, a patient with a head injury was examined using the Glasgow Coma Scale or a CT scan. The diagnostic tool for determining concussions, the CT scan, didn’t always show definitive evidence.
With a 90 percent accuracy rating, this new test could be the simple, accurate, and efficient way to conclusively test for concussions leading to improved assessments and treatments. It is hoped that this will become a gold standard for not only diagnosing concussions but determining the severity and even plotting a recovery plan.
The Future of Concussion Diagnostics
The lead researcher, Dr. Douglas Fraser hopes that further refinements of the new testing will lead to greater portability. He said, “With today’s technology (this equipment) would be the size of a toaster and could sit on a bench somewhere. This is something that could be in an emergency room, in an athletic locker, it could be on the front lines of a military conflict.”
Approval by the US FDA
This past February, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the blood test for use in detecting concussions in adults. Called the Brain Trauma Indicator test, it measures the proteins that are released at the time of brain injury. This has exciting implications for the future of diagnosing and treating brain injury victims.
If you have been injured in an accident and have been diagnosed with a brain injury, know your legal rights. Contact the Huntsville personal injury lawyers at A M Injury Law for a no-cost consultation.