Test could determine if athletes can play after concussions - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Blood test could determine if athletes can play after concussions


A blood test could help coaches and medics determine if an athlete can play following a concussion.

A new study finds measuring the level of a specific protein in the blood could tell if someone is suffering from a concussion and help determine if the athlete's brain has healed.

Swedish researchers studied professional hockey players. Thirty-five of them suffered a concussion during the season and were given blood tests at 1, 12, 36 and 144 hours after it happened.

Results showed players who had concussions had an increased level of a specific protein.

The higher the level, the longer it took for symptoms to resolve.

"I think this is a starting point to develop a panel of blood tests that will allow us to diagnose and prognose, meaning predict the future in a way, of what a concussed player should do next," said Dr. Damir Janigro with the Cleveland Clinic.

The big thing is making sure athletes don't return too soon and make the injury worse.

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