Blood Test to Detect Concussions
There is an exciting development in brain injury medicine. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new blood test to detect concussions and other brain injuries.
The test, called the Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator, will help prevent the need for patients to have CT scans, which is a diagnostic tool frequently given by hospitals to trauma victims. CT scans can help detect brain bleeding and other brain lesions that are telltale signs of a traumatic brain injury. But CT scans also have downsides, namely because they expose patients to radiation.
The blood test will examine the level and amount of certain proteins that appear in a patient’s blood. Experts indicate that individuals who have sustained a brain injury will have two particular proteins, UCH-L1 and GFAP, in their blood. The FDA has indicated that the blood test can positively identify individuals who have brain lesions 97.5 percent of the time, while the test was also able to determine those who did not have lesions 99.6 percent of the time.
The device that will allow for these blood tests is transportable and will allow on-the-field testing of individuals even during games. This is particularly helpful for sports like football, where athletes can suffer severe consequences from what is known as Second Impact Syndrome when they suffer a subsequent concussion shortly after an initial concussion. Research has indicated that multiple concussions can lead to a condition known as CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.
As someone who represents individuals who have suffered brain injuries, I believe this test will help brain injury survivors. That’s because many individuals who suffer brain injuries do not have any objective evidence of an actual brain injury. Their CT scan and MRI images oftentimes do not show any type of abnormalities in imaging. In addition, many individuals who suffered a serious concussion often have normal Glascow Coma Scores, which is used to measure the severity of a brain injury.
Insurance companies will typically point to the lack of any objective evidence of a concussion to deny worthy compensation to a brain injury victim. They usually claim that a concussion diagnosis depends on a patient’s subjective complaints and that there is no “objective” evidence to show that a brain injury occurred. The insurance company will then try to attack the credibility of the injured plaintiff by pointing to inconsistencies in the medical records, delays in seeking medical treatment, and actions that appear to be inconsistent with someone who suffered a brain injury.
The new blood test should help prevent many of these problems by providing the objective evidence that insurance companies claim is usually absent. The presence of certain blood proteins that the body will release only in response to a brain injury will provide helpful evidence to support the claim for an injury.
If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, it is vital that you get the medical treatment and attention needed to diagnose and treat the concussion or other brain injury. It is also important to speak with a Virginia brain injury attorney to know and protect your rights. If you have questions about a brain injury, please contact Robert E. Byrne, Jr. at (434) 817-3100 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.