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Blood Test May Save Athletes with Concussions

Sarah Kim3 years ago

Recent advances may allow healthcare professionals to determine the presence and severity of concussions through blood tests.

How the Concussion Blood Tests Work

According to Reuters, Swedish researchers found a way to detect the severity of a concussion with a simple blood test capable of producing results within an hour.  

If used properly, it could be used to prevent athletes of high-contact sports such as football, rugby, ice hockey, and boxing from returning to the sports prematurely.

The test works by detecting increased levels of a nerve cell protein called tau, revealing when an athlete can return to the sport or if there will be long term effects. The test will also show how athletes heal from their concussions.

The test could also be used for emergency medical care to diagnose possible brain damage that may be caused by concussions. 

Head Trauma a Major Concern for Athletes

“In ice hockey and other contact sports, repeated concussions are common where the brain has not finished healing after the first blow.” – Henry Zetterberg of the Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg as published by Reuters

Repeat impacts from high contact sports can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain condition that can lead to loss of cognitive function, dementia, aggression and depression.

A mild concussion may have symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and memory problems; however, severe concussions can make athletes lose consciousness, and may cause serious long term effects.

Recently, the condition of athletes in high contact sports has become a serious concern. According to ESPN, the National Football League’s offer to settle a lawsuit for $765 million dollars was deemed insufficient.

The test could also be used for emergency medical care to diagnose possible brain damage that may be caused by concussions. 

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