People often find it difficult to tell if a child usually has concussions, since these are mostly internal and do not show any tell tale, especially when you have an active child and concussions are one of your major worries.
But worry no more folks, there’s a new process discovered by researchers from Orlando Health that’s taking blood tests to a whole new level and allows for the diagnosis of concussions for at least a week after an injury caused it.
Orlando Health medical physician Dr. Linda Papa, who headed the research team, said that they have developed a blood test that would definitively diagnose concussions – quickly and simply.
Previously, the only way for diagnosis was through a CT scan test that can diagnose concussion, but now, it can be tested through serum as more technological advances have been made in diagnosis and tests.
Dr. Papa said that with the new test will limit the use of CT scans, especially among children, due to the amount of radiation involved that could prove to be unhealthy especially for children.
But with a simple pin prick, doctors would now be able to conduct a blood test using serum proteins detected in the blood, that gets released from the brain after an injury.
The doctors test for a biomarker that is called the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) that is unique in the brain and the central nervous system that is released into the bloodstream after a head injury.
The GFAP can be detected from the bloodstream for at least a week especially for concussions that usually do not show up visibly immediately after an injury or trauma has occurred particularly with children.
Papa added that this breakthrough can help doctors treat the effects of concussions that can cause temporary memory loss or worse, have significant impact to the brain and cause progressive brain damage.
In 2012, there were 3.8 million reported cases of concussions related to sports.
At least 33% of these occurred during practice and 39% were shown to be cumulative effects of concussion that have been shown to increase to catastrophic head injuries resulting to permanent head damage or neurologic disability.
Almost half or 47% of these reported sports concussions occurred during high school football practice or competitions.
Based on statistics, the highest reported sport involving concussions are football, Ice hockey, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling and basketball.
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