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New blood test can detect traumatic brain injuries

A new blood test could make it easier for doctors to diagnose traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, in patients in Louisiana and nationwide. The test, which indicates both the presence of a brain injury and its severity, could reduce the need for unnecessary radiographic scans.

In the recently-published study, a team of international researchers looked at the predictive abilities of a simple blood test that measures brain-specific proteins that are released when someone suffers a brain trauma. The researchers analyzed the blood levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein breakdown product, or GFAP-BDP, in patients with suspected brain injuries and then compared it to the patients' CT and MRI scans. The authors of the study found that pairing the blood test with image-based screening was more beneficial than imaging alone. They also found that unnecessary scans were reduced by 12 to 30 percent by using the blood test.

The researchers noted that biomarkers are becoming an increasingly important diagnostic tool for medical providers. They also said that their findings back up other studies that have shown GFAP-BDP markers to be a useful tool in identifying individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.

Traumatic brain injuries often cause long-term and debilitating medical issues. Any Louisiana resident who suffers a TBI as a result of the negligence of another person such as a drunk or distracted driver may want to consult with an attorney to determine how to proceed. In some cases, it may be advisable to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party seeking compensation for the damages that have been incurred.

Source: Health Canal, "Blood Test to Detect Traumatic Brain Injury Could Reduce Unnecessary CT Scans," May 18, 2015

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