Research from Abbott has revealed that an increased, high level of protein in the blood could facilitate the detection of a brain injury, confirmed through an MRI scan when even a CT scan failed to register one.

The new, Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) study will assist the development of new technology to be used in emergency rooms to identify patients with undiagnosed brain injuries.

Dr Geoffrey T. Manley, who is the principal investigator of Track-TBI hailing from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), said: “Blood-based biomarkers are emerging as an important tool to detect TBI, and this research opens up the next chapter for how the condition is evaluated.

“Having these sensitive tools could provide physicians more real-time, objective information and improve the accuracy of detecting TBI. This research shows that blood tests have the potential to help physicians triage patients suspected of brain injury quickly and accurately.”

Specifically, the technology would be used in conjunction with MRI and CT scans to measure brain-specific glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) levels to not only assess whether or not a patient had a brain injury, but also the extent of the severity of the injury if one at all.

It is anticipated that the use of the technology will aid doctors around the world to boost their care and emergency services. Beth McQuiston, a neurologist and medical director at Abbott, said: “In the future, our TBI test and next-generation device could also be added to the standard of care, working together with CT scans and other diagnostic tools to provide doctors with a more complete understanding of a patient's condition."

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