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Diagnosing An Invisible Injury: Concussion

When it comes to concussion - an invisible injury - and what constitutes the best treatment for a brain injury, the first step is actually diagnosing the severity of the injury. While a diagnostic test for concussions is currently not in existence, experts are working on establishing one. According to a neurosurgeon and concussion expert based in Toronto, it may involve the use of a blood test. 

A recent interview by The Toronto Star reveals,

"Maybe some day soon we're going to be able to diagnose a concussion with a blood test, just like you can diagnose a heart attack with a blood test," Dr. Charles Tator, the Toronto neurosurgeon and concussion expert, said in an interview. "I'm sufficiently optimistic that is going to happen."

Companies in our neighboring country, the United States, are researching this approach. Specifically they are looking into whether the levels of bio-markers, otherwise known as protein found in the blood, can be used to determine how severe a brain injury is. Clinical trials will be of assistance in determining whether this approach is useful. One neurosurgeon is hoping that biomarkers for concussion will be in place within the next few years.

It's possible that such a test could also be used to diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This degenerative brain disease, also referred to as CTE, is believed to be the result of repetitive head injuries. The disease has been found in professional athletes who play hockey and football, post-mortem. 

The recovery from a traumatic brain injury can be long and difficult. It can also result in great expense. It can be hard for someone who has suffered a brain injury to pay the bills related to treatment. This is particularly true when the injury leaves that individual unable to work to make a living. When the injury is due to negligence on the part of another person, relief may be sought via a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawyer can provide guidance on the best course of action.

What do you think about a blood test? 

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