Award paves the way for brain injury research

When a person suffers from a brain injury, the full impact of the injury likely won’t be known for a while. An award from General Electric and the National Football League to Banyan Biomarkers Inc. and the University of Florida might pave the way for improved testing for brain injuries. The $300,000 award will be used to research a way to diagnose brain injuries within 30 minutes by using a blood test.

As part of the project, researchers will draw blood via finger sticks from women’s soccer players, women’s lacrosse players and football players who consent to the test. The blood draw will be done on the field when a player is injured so researchers can test for elevated protein levels that are indicative of a concussion. It is hoped that the results will help to develop a test that can be on the site of a brain injury.

During the study, the blood collected will be sent to a lab for testing. Magnetic resonance imaging will be used, along with continued blood draws, to determine the correlation between protein levels and imaging results.

Even though the research will be led by a University of Florida football team physician, it is believed that the test could be used to help make decisions about when soldiers, construction workers or others who have brain injuries will be medically cleared to return to work or other activities. This means the test could also be beneficial to people who suffered traumatic brain injuries in a variety of accidents, including automobile accidents.

Anyone who has suffered from a traumatic brain injury might have the right to seek compensation for the injury from the responsible party. Consulting with a Florida personal injury attorney may help you learn your right regarding claims for damages.

Source: University of Florida, “University of Florida and Banyan Biomarkers Inc. to conduct NFL/GE-funded concussion research” No author given, Jan. 24, 2014