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Saturday
Oct162010

Blood Test to Flag Concussions? Army Says Yes

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ALACHUA, Fla.) –- Preliminary reports on as-yet unpublished Army research have offered a look at what may be in the future for the diagnosis of mild to moderate brain injury.

Army researchers say they may have found a new procedure that may make it possible someday to diagnose mild concussions quickly and easily.

Led by Banyan Biomarkers, researchers drew and tested the blood of 34 people taken to the hospital for head injuries and then diagnosed with mild concussions at a trauma unit.

The blood tests showed the presence of certain proteins -- biomarkers -- that do not normally show up in the blood of uninjured people. The theory is that the concussive jolt to the brain unleashes these proteins in the bloodstream.

If, in fact, the biomarkers in the subjects' blood turn out to be correlated with their brain injuries, it would be the first suggestion that a blood test to look for brain injury in humans could be a reality.

Experts contacted by ABC News differed in their opinions on the Banyan-Army study.

A much larger study, funded by the U.S. Defense Department, is expected to begin next year. It will involve 1,200 patients at 30 trauma centers around the country.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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