Nova Scotia Brain Injury Claims: New Blood Test May Help Brain Injury Victims

by John McKiggan

A recent article in Internal Medicine News reports that researchers at Orlando (Fla.) Regional Medical Center has identified a protien that they say accurately distinguishes between mild and moderate traumatic brain injury. If the research is validated it may lead to a blood test that can help health care providers accurately identify when patients have suffered a brain injury and require further treatment.

Current Testing Problematic

Most emergency medical responders use the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) to assess patients with head injury. The problem is that the GCS test can be influenced by alcohol or drugs, some prescription medication, other injuries, or hypoperfusion. The test was never designed to be used as an emergency department tool.

Brain Protein

In the Orlando study, researchers tested Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP) is found in glial cells and is specific to the central nervous system. GFAP is found in both gray and white brain matter and has recently been identified in serum, which means that it could be used as a clinical biomarker in blood tests.

Simple Test

These findings could turn out to be a significant advance in the treatment of persons with traumatic brain injury. The tests could also be valuable to brain injury lawyers. In most cases of mild traumatic brain injury there is little or no evidence that the injured person suffered any trauma to their head. Often the Glasgow Coma Test results taken at the scene of the car crash or injury are normal.

A simple blood test that can accurately identify the presence or absence of traumatic brain injury would be invaluable to those of us that represent brain injury survivors. I will be following this research with interest.

Want more information? Contact me through this blog and ask for a free copy of my book, The Survivor’s Guide to Brain Injury Claims: How to prove the invisible injury.

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