First Blood Test for Concussion Approved by FDA

The diagnostic measures two proteins indicative of brain injury.

kerry grens
Kerry Grens

Kerry served as The Scientist’s news director until 2021. Before joining The Scientist in 2013, she was a stringer for Reuters Health, the senior health and science reporter at...

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Feb 15, 2018

WIKIMEDIA, U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY PHOTOGRAPHER'S MATE 3RD CLASS JEREMY L. GRISHAMThis week (February 14), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first blood-based screening test for concussions. The diagnostic, which measures the abundance of the proteins UCH-L1 and GFAP, can help identify which patients should be sent for a CT scan to confirm any brain damage.

“This is going to change the testing paradigm for suspected cases of concussion,” Tara Rabin, a spokesperson for the FDA, tells The New York Times.

In the approval announcement, the FDA stated that the test accurately predicted the presence of “intracranial lesions” 97 percent of the time, and appropriately indicated that there were none 99 percent of the time. In doing so, the screen could avoid CT scans for one-third of people who have a possible mild traumatic brain injury.

“It doesn’t replace CT in all cases,” Jay...

The FDA says the test could be used for the general population, and will be especially helpful to the military.

See “Experimental Drug Relieves Blast-Related PTSD in a Rat Model of Traumatic Brain Injury

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First Blood Test for Concussion Approved by FDA

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