If the blood test discussed in the following article turns out to really work, and I feel the concept seems like it should, this would be great.
The next major question is; can it be used for tracking recovery or validating post concussion syndrome that may be months to decades old?
I will try to contact Dr. Papa to find out her thoughts on this.
Of course, preventing concussions is key and using preemptive nutritional protocols in high risk individuals to limit the damage of a head trauma needs to studied in large human trials (I hope to be involved in this in the near future) and used now since these nutrients are not dangerous to take.
Blood Test May Detect Concussion in Kids
WebMD News from HealthDay
By Steven Reinberg
TUESDAY, Nov. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) — A simple blood test may one day be able to detect concussions in children, a new study suggests.
The test, which has already been used in adults, detected traumatic brain injuries in kids 94 percent of the time. More important, a negative result means a CT scan, and the radiation exposure it brings, may not be needed the researchers said.
“When a child comes in with a head injury, we have to decide whether they have a concussion,” said study author Dr. Linda Papa, an emergency medicine physician with Orlando Health in Florida.
“We also have to decide whether the child needs a CT scan,” Papa added. “CT scans are not harmless.”
A CT scan exposes the child’s brain to radiation that can cause damage, Papa explained. “The more we avoid CT scans, the better it is for the patient,” she said.
About 250,000 kids are treated each year for brain injuries such as concussions, according to Papa. A simple test that could take the guesswork out of diagnosing these kids could change the way concessions are identified, she said.
Papa developed the test, but has no financial interest in it. “For my patients, I think it’s going to make a huge difference. I didn’t do this for financial benefit, I did it because I wanted to have a blood test that we could use to help people,” she said.
The study, which was published in the November issue of the journal Academic Emergency Medicine, was funded in part by the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
The blood test measures levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). This protein is found in cells that surround neurons in the brain. When the brain is injured, GFAP is released into the bloodstream, making it easy to detect, Papa said.
To read the rest of the article:
The following report on some new research confirms a few things for me. The first is that previous research showing that younger athletes recover slower than older athletes is confirmed here.
Secondarily, and more important to this particular blog is that someone getting a concussion needs significant interventions to speed recovery and reduce the potential long term effects of brain injury.
The three best interventions that I am aware of to date are:
2-Functional Neurology (developed by Dr Carrick a chiropractic neurologist in Atlanta)
By:Laird Harrison (excerpt)
June 09, 2015
SAN DIEGO — Recovery from a concussion might take much longer than the previously established 7 to 14 days, a new study shows.
“More and more people are starting to realize that you need to take a comprehensive approach so that you don’t send a kid back who might be recovered on one measure but not another,” said Anthony Kontos, PhD, from the University of Pittsburgh.
In fact, in the study conducted by Dr Kontos and his colleagues, athletes took 3 to 4 weeks to recover, and women took longer than men.
The established 7- to 14-day recovery period — reported in peer-reviewed journals and a consensus statement (Br J Sports Med. 2013;47:250-258) — was estimated from studies of male American football players that looked only at neurocognitive tests and symptoms, he explained.
To test the accuracy of this, Dr Kontos’s team followed 24 female and 42 male high-school and college athletes after a diagnosis of concussion in accordance with established medical guidelines. Mean age of the athletes was 16.5 years.
Dr Kontos presented the findings here at the American College of Sports Medicine 62nd Annual Meeting.
The athletes were tested every week for 4 weeks after the diagnosis. Measures of symptoms, verbal memory, visual memory, visual motor processing speed, reaction time, dizziness, and vestibular and oculomotor symptoms were self-reported.
The biggest improvements in self-reported symptoms occurred in the first 2 weeks, but they continued to improve up to 4 weeks.
Vestibular and oculomotor symptoms lasted 1 to 3 weeks, and verbal memory impairment continued up to 4 weeks.
The male athletes were 2.5 times more likely than the female athletes to have recovered by week 4, which was statistically significant (P < .006).
In addition, females reported more dizziness and more vestibular and oculomotor symptoms than males.
The study ran out of funding after 4 weeks, but some imaging studies have suggested abnormalities beyond that time period, said Dr Kontos.
On the basis of these findings, clinicians should use more than one measure to assess whether an athlete has recovered from a concussion, he said. “It’s not a homogenous injury. You need to do a thorough, comprehensive exam.”
After the presentation, some audience members pointed out that the results confirm their experiences as team physicians. “We’ve always known that 2 weeks was not reasonable,” said one.
Curcumin is found in the Indian spice turmeric used in curry and has been shown to have numerous mechanisms that protect and help the brain heal from injury. Curcumin acts not only as an anti-oxidant in the brain but also as an anti-inflammatory. The form of curcumin is very important; it needs to be the BCM-95® form or a nanoparticle form for optimal absorption and results.
Although this is the last supplement on my current list of The Top Eight Supplements for Acute Concussions, there are numerous other supplements with a growing list of research that can be used. This list includes activated B vitamins and vitamin D to N-Acetyl Cysteine and resveratrol.
Lipothiamine is a special form of thiamine or Vitamin B1. It is a fat soluble form of B1 and therefore can enter cells without any energy being expended by the cell. This is incredibly important because of the major energy crisis occurring in the brain of the TBI patient, regular water soluble thiamine (B1) typically needs energy to cross the blood brain barrier and enter cells, but fat soluble lipothiamine does not.
6. Alpha Lipoic Acid is a potent antioxidant that also recycles vitamin E and Vitamin C while increasing levels of another major intracellular antioxidant called glutathione. Alpha Lipoic Acid is also a critical factor in the mitochondria’s ability to make energy.
5. Oxaloacetate is a compound involved in the Kreb’s Cycle, which if you remember from biology class, relates to energy production. It is also involved in amino acid and fatty acid production and reduces toxic glutamate.