Nov 9, 2016
Blood Test Is Effective

Western University and the Children’s Health Research Institute in Ontario, Canada, have developed a blood test that has a 90 percent chance to accurately determine whether adolescents have suffered a concussion.

According to Seeker, the test, developed by studying a group of 12- to 14-year olds with concussion symptoms, involves drawing blood from the head within 72 hours of the injury and looking for specific patterns in the metabolites in the blood.

Currently, the test requires a large machine known as a mass spectrometer that requires a lab and technicians to use, but study co-author Douglas Fraser hopes for a more portable and accessible solution.

“Our hope is to develop a dedicated mass spec machine about the size of a toaster,” Fraser said. “You would just prick your finger, get a drop of blood on filter paper and put the paper in the machine. The algorithms and analytics would be built in.”

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Fraser said he hoped the technology could eventually be used for the benefit of all athletes, from his children to professional athletes in the NFL.

“Are all these things perfect? Of course not,” Fraser said. “But when you involve the coaches, trainers, parents — and make sure they’re evaluated by a proper concussion team — I do believe you can minimize the risk.”

An abstract of the study can be found on this website.

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