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Elevated Blood Biomarker Potentially Useful in Concussion Diagnosis — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
March 14, 2014

Elevated Blood Biomarker Potentially Useful in Concussion Diagnosis

By Kelly Young

The plasma biomarker total tau (T-tau) appears to increase after a sports-related concussion, according to a JAMA Neurology study.

Researchers collected blood samples from nearly 300 professional hockey players in Sweden before their season and after a friendly game. Of these, 28 also had their blood analyzed after a concussion.

The biomarker with the greatest diagnostic accuracy was T-tau, which is a marker of axonal damage. T-tau levels increased immediately after the injury, and the 1-hour T-tau concentrations predicted the time to symptom resolution. S-100 calcium-binding protein B (S-100B), a marker for astroglial injury, reached peak levels during the hour after concussion, but S-100B levels were also increased after a friendly game with no head injury.

Editorialists conclude: "It is likely that biomarker panels measuring tau as well as other proteins that reflect astrocytic, endothelial, and microglial pathobiology will ultimately be required for blood biomarkers to fulfill their promise in the clinical management of [traumatic brain injury]."

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