Researchers develop new blood test for brain

VCOM researchers discuss advantage of new blood test

By Patricia Martellotti - Reporter

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine researchers are behind a groundbreaking blood test that will help diagnose traumatic brain injury. 

It's the first of its kind -- a blood test for the brain.

“There was no blood test for the brain up until now. It really has been a clinical endeavor,” said Per Gunnar Brolinson, researcher at VCOM.

It’s an endeavor that has become a major topic of concern due to contact sports such as football, along with injuries suffered by military personnel. 

“It's widely estimated that somewhere between 2 and 4 million concussions occur in a year,” Brolinson said.

The test finds proteins released into the blood after a hit to the head within 12 hours.

It’s expected to reduce the number of unnecessary scans being done, saving time and money.

“The other big advantage to this particular test is it reduces the radiation exposure from scans,” Gunnar said.

Brolinson says the new blood test is expected to be used nationwide within the year.

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