A blood test for concussions?

A blood test for concussions?

Anyone who has suffered a concussion knows that part of the pain and suffering comes from the challenges of getting an accurate diagnosis. Typically, a physician and even a neurologist must rely on physical, cognitive, and behavioural observations. Even so, there are more than 200,000 Canadians who suffer concussions annually from sports and falls as well as accidents that can often be misdiagnosed.

But that may be a thing of the past, with the pending FDA approval of a Canadian-led finger-prick blood test called Neurolytixs. Developed by the Lawson Health Research Institute, Western University, Techstars Accelerators and the Ontario Centre of Innovation, the blood test measures metabolite markers, which are associated with concussions. The test measures four lipid levels, which drop after a concussion. The test is the result of research started in 2016 and uses artificial intelligence to identify the metabolite markers of a brain injury.

Currently being tested in young athletes, the test uses a baseline measurement at the start of a sports season, by taking a finger-prick blood test of the players. If a player is suspected of having a concussion, another blood test is done within 72 hours of the injury. The results are ready in 20 minutes and has 96 percent diagnostic accuracy.

With FDA approval for use in the United States just around the corner, the test developers are hopeful that the product could be on the global market in a relatively short time.

What are the most common signs of a concussion?

  • Headache or “pressure” in head.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision.
  • Bothered by light or noise.
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy.
  • Confusion, or concentration or memory problems.
  • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down”.

Helpful info, delivered to you—free!

Sign up for our free monthly newsletter. It’s full of useful info (plus occasional giveaways). You can unsubscribe anytime.