New Blood Test Can Help Spot Brain Injuries

Sports-related concussions number in the millions. That’s why the FDA has just approved a blood test that helps to screen for brain injuries.

The blood test may be of special interest to parents of student athletes. Parents with kids who play sports -- and who are at risk of getting concussions -- may want to take note.

Dr. Summer Ott of U-T- Health says the test can also steer doctors toward the right treatment more quickly.

Ott points out that the blood test will not replace the current best practices for identifying concussions ... but it can help to tip off doctors major head injuries before the symptoms appear.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the test for use last week.

The test has been OK’d to evaluate concussions, otherwise known as mild traumatic brain injuries, in patients after accidents, military wounds, sports collisions and other causes.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the test – which was developed by Banyan Biomarkers -- could help to diagnose brain injuries that force about  2.5 million emergency room annually.

The World Health Organization estimates that 10 million people worldwide suffer mild traumatic brain injuries.

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