Medical Research: What is the background for this study?
Dr. Korley: Each year, millions of Americans are evaluated in emergency departments for traumatic brain injuries. Currently the only test available for diagnosing traumatic brain injury is a brain CT scan. Brain CT scans accurately identify bleeding in the brain from trauma. However, they are unable to identify damage to brain cells. Approximately 90% of patients with traumatic brain injury have no bleeding in the brain and therefore have unremarkable brain CT scans. However, these patients typically have damaged brain cells and they continue to suffer headaches, dizziness, attention and memory deficits, sleep problems among others for months after their injury and can’t figure out why. Therefore new tests are needed to identify traumatic brain injury patients with damaged brain cells and especially those who are likely to have persistent traumatic brain injury-related symptoms for months after injury. If you or any one in your family has sustained a brain injury in an accident, you might want to get in touch someone similar to this Personal Injury Lawyer St. Louis or a law firm more local to your area, who might be able to look into your case.
Medical Research: What are the main findings?
Dr. Korley: Our study determined that the blood levels of a protein called brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) can help predict whether a patient will continue to have symptoms related to traumatic brain injury at six 6 months after injury, even if they had an unremarkable brain CT scan.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Korley: There are exciting times ahead in the field of traumatic brain injury research. Although there are currently no FDA approved blood test for diagnosing traumatic brain injury, we are getting closer to having blood tests that can help us diagnose traumatic brain injury more accurately. Blood tests for BDNF will hopefully transform our ability to care for traumatic brain injury patients especially those who have an unremarkable brain CT scan.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Korley: Additional studies need to be conducted at different medical centers to validate our findings. Furthermore, studies are needed to determine whether strategies that increase BDNF expression (such as early exercise and diet therapy) can help improve patient outcomes in traumatic brain injury.
Korley FK1,2, Diaz-Arrastia R3, Wu AH4, Yue JK5, Manley GT M D Ph D6, Sair HI7, Van Eyk J8, Everett AD9, Okonkwo DO10, Valadka A11, Gordon WA12, Maas A13,14, Mukherjee P15, Yuh EL16, Lingsma H17,18, Puccio AM19, Schnyer DM20.
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Frederick Korley MD Ph.D (2015). Blood Biomarker Can Identify Patients At Risk of Continued Symptoms After Traumatic Brain Injury MedicalResearch.com