In this excellent article in Wired magazine, a new approach to assessing concussion risks may lead to more comprehensive and accurate determinations of head injury severity. The possibilities in biomarker discovery are virtually unlimited!
Scientists may have discovered a blood test for concussions, more sensitive and less biased than any human evaluator. When axons in the brain get damaged, they release a number of proteins into the cerebral spinal fluid. About one in a thousand of those proteins crosses the blood-brain barrier to enter the bloodstream. The more damage, the higher the blood protein concentration. The proteins are just hard to find.
“It’s like trying to find grains of sand in a thousand Olympic-size swimming pools,” says Jessica Gill, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health who studies brain trauma and PTSD in soldiers.