A biomarker test could help many people with traumatic brain injuries
Researchers have identified inflammatory biomarkers that could lead to the development of an effective test for brain injuries in the first few hours after an accident. This new test could be carried out by paramedics, for example, directly after a sports accident on the edge of a sports field. It would be possible to quickly identify and successfully treat traumatic brain injuries.
The University of Birmingham scientists found that certain biomarkers allow doctors and medical professionals to test for brain injuries in the first few hours after an accident. The experts published a press release on the results of their study.
Newly developed test can improve clinical intervention options
The new test could, for example, be used immediately in the event of a sports accident on the edge of the sports field to find out whether affected athletes have suffered a brain injury, the researchers say. Such an injury leads to a change in the inflammatory proteins that the test can effectively detect. The test would enable such injuries to be identified quickly and reliably, which also leads to an improvement in the clinical intervention options, the British authors explain.
Traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of neurological disabilities
Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability in young adults, the researchers say. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), traumatic brain injuries are the world's leading cause of neurological disabilities in all age groups, explains Lisa Hill from the University of Birmingham.
These biomarkers indicate traumatic brain injuries
The study identified three inflammatory biomarkers in traumatic brain injury known as CST5, AXIN1 and TRAIL. CST5 was identified in patients with severe traumatic brain injury within the first hour of the injury. The rapid identification of AXIN1 and TRAIL could also result in possible brain injuries being detected in patient controls within an hour.
Early diagnosis makes effective treatment easier
Early and objective diagnosis of traumatic brain injuries would facilitate clinical decision making for further effective treatment. In addition, the correct diagnosis of traumatic brain injury would allow medical professionals to implement new strategies to reduce so-called secondary brain injuries, the authors explain.
So far, biomarkers have not been able to diagnose the severity of a traumatic brain injury
There are currently no reliable biomarkers to diagnose the severity of traumatic brain injury in patients, the scientists say. So far, it has also been impossible to identify patients at risk of secondary injuries. Such secondary injuries can impair brain function, damage other brain structures and even promote further cell death, the researchers further explain.
Results will affect drug development
The results have potential implications for drug development, as new drugs could be given immediately after injury. For example, treatment in a car accident can be started on the side of the road if a diagnosis has reliably established a traumatic brain injury, the scientists explain. (as)