New blood test may diagnose TBI better than MRIs and CT scans

What at first may seem like minor brain injuries can have serious consequences in the long term. This is why it is so important for individuals who sustain head trauma to be tested. MRI scans, though, are slow and costly while CT scans are liable to miss traumatic brain injuries. Therefore, an alternative way of diagnosing TBIs is needed. West Virginia residents may be interested in knowing that some researchers may have found something to fulfill that need.

A professor at the University of California, San Francisco, published a report in The Lancet Neurology that reveals the effectiveness of a particular blood test. The test measures the amount of certain proteins in the blood that are released after a TBI.

The blood test was administered via i-STAT Alinity, a handheld device, to 450 individuals with suspected TBIs. They had previously undergone CT scans that searched for the presence of glial fibrillary acidic protein, a protein that's considered a possible biomarker for brain damage. Two weeks after the CT scan, the patients were scanned with an MRI.

The test found that 64% of patients in the highest quintile for GFAP were likely to have a brain injury compared to 8% of individuals in the lowest quintile. It did not predict all the MRI results, though. Researchers continue to seek other TBI biomarkers.

From athletes to construction workers, many people can suffer a traumatic brain injury, sometimes through no fault of their own. TBIs can also be caused by auto accidents. Those who think they have legitimate grounds for a personal injury claim may want to talk to an attorney. Proving the other side's negligence and showing the extent of one's injuries can be a difficult process, but a lawyer may hire investigators, medical experts and others for the job.

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