The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a blood test that may revolutionize the diagnosis in traumatic brain injuries. According to the American Council on Science and Health, the test, which is called a Brain Trauma Indicator, is marketed by Banyan Biomarkers Inc. This test may soon replace what is currently used to diagnose brain injury. What exists now is a two-part standard examination. The first is the 15-point Glasgow Coma Scale followed by the CT scan of the head to examine for the presence of intracranial lesions.
How the Blood Test Works
A traumatic brain injury is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head. It may also be caused by something that penetrates the head. Regardless of how it’s caused, a brain injury may range from mild to severe. That said, even a so-called mild brain injury may have significant symptoms such as memory and cognitive issues. This means that a number of patients who have concussions may end up with a negative CT scan.
The Brain Trauma Indicator blood test measures the levels of two proteins UCH-L1 and GFAP. When a brain injury occurs, these proteins are released from the brain to the blood. If the proteins are found at elevated levels, there is strong likelihood that the person has brain damage with intracranial lesions.
Reduction in the Need for CT Scans
Intracranial lesions are normally visible on a CT scan. The blood test can be done immediately and the results are available within a few hours. This will allow healthcare professionals to send those patients who get a positive blood test to go for a CT scan to confirm and get more information on the damage.
In order to give this approval, the FDA used data from a clinical study of 1,947 individual blood samples from adults with suspected brain injuries and compared blood test results with CT scan results. The blood test was able to predict the presence of intracranial lesions on a CT scan 97.5 percent of the time. Experts say this blood test for brain injuries provides healthcare professionals with a new tool, and also sets the stage for a more modernized standard of care for testing suspected cases.
It will also reduce the number of CT scans performed on patients with concussions each year, potentially saving the healthcare system the cost of unnecessary neuroimaging tests. The blood test was developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense and will also be useful both for civilians in the United States and for the military overseas.
What Are the Symptoms of a Brain Injury?
Brain injuries do have the potential to result in permanent brain damage that may cause lifelong issues. The impact of a brain injury depends on a number of factors including the severity of the initial injury, the bodily functions that have been affected and the resources available to aid recovery. Here are some of the symptoms and effects of a traumatic brain injury:
Cognitive deficits: This might include difficulties with attention, concentration, memory, speed of processing information, impulsiveness and language processing. Those with severe or even moderate brain injuries may show difficulty understanding the spoken word, have difficulty speaking and being understood, have slurred speech and exhibit problems with reading and writing.
Sensory issues: Individuals may have difficulties with interpretation of touch, temperature and movement. They may also experience partial or total loss of vision, blurred vision, and problems judging distance, involuntary eye movements and intolerance of light. They may also experience hearing loss, ringing in the ears or increased sensitivity to sound. Some may also find that they have a loss or diminished sense of smell and taste.
Physical changes: These may include physical paralysis, chronic pain, sleep disorders, lack of stamina, appetite changes and regulation of body temperatures.
Social and emotional issues: Those with brain injuries may exhibit dependent behaviors, lack of motivation, irritability, aggression, depression and lack of awareness.
Compensation for Victims
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury in a traumatic event, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 46 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
If you found this article useful, please share it!