Last week, the Globe and Mail reported that researchers at Western University in London, Ontario have developed a new blood test to assess whether an individual has suffered a concussion – and the test has an amazingly high accuracy rate of 90%!
The results are still preliminary, with a small test size of 12 concussed male athletes and 17 non-concussed male athletes; however, the results are convincing and have been published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Metabolomics.
If this test is validated through further study, it could make a significant difference for people who have suffered a concussion. Concussions and other brain injuries have often been called the “invisible disability” because they are typically not physically apparent and are difficult to accurately test for. An accurate blood test for concussions would provide the patient and medical professionals with concrete evidence of the injury. This would make it easier for medical practitioners to know when to treat for concussions and – critically – for individuals to know when they need to be extra cautious.
A test like this would be especially useful for athletes. As the article states, “While a blood test can’t prevent initial concussions from happening, it can alert the athlete he or she needs to rest or run the risk of suffering a second, more critical concussion”. When additional advancements are made, the researchers believe trainers and coaches may be able to have a concussion test on the bench with them so they will know when the risk of repetitive brain trauma is too high to send an athlete back into the game.
Remember, concussions are brain injuries and therefore must be taken very seriously. Every time a person gets a successive concussion, the possibility of permanent damage and death rises exponentially. “Second Impact Syndrome” is when a pre-existing head injury followed by another trauma to the head causes death, and it is of particular concern for athletes.
If you want to learn more about concussions, I encourage you to view the concussion handbooks created by the Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA). They provide an overview about concussions and recovery:
If you have been in an accident and are experiencing symptoms of concussion, you should seek treatment for a brain injury as soon as possible.
Roger R. Foisy is an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Ontario who has helped clients with brain injuries receive compensation. If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury, please contact us for immediate support and a free consultation.
I Encourage You to Watch My Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Video Series:
- What is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)?
- Why are Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries Often Missed?
- Accessing Funding for Medical Rehabilitation after Suffering a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in a Motor Vehicle Accident
- Finding the Right Team for Your Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
- Coping with the Emotional and Psychological Impact of a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
*Roger R. Foisy has completed courses in Neurorehabilitation, Neurobehavioural Disorders, Advanced Brain Injury Rehabilitation, and Acquired Brain Injury from Brock University. However, he is not a medical professional. The advice in this blog is not intended as a substitute for medical advice.