Good news for those who may have suffered from a concussion — there is now an easier way to test for it that doesn’t involve radiation. The FDA has approved a novel way to test for concussions. The Brain Trauma Indicator is a blood test designed to detect cases of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) a.k.a concussions. It was approved for use in adults by the FDA on February 14, 2018. The blood test works by measuring the amount of specific proteins released by the brain after a mild brain injury. Using levels of the proteins, medical professionals can reasonably conclude which suspected concussions involved an intracranial lesion. Currently, detecting concussions is primarily done using neurological exams and CT scans. But the majority of intracranial lesions can’t be detected with a CT scan, which means a lot of people are unnecessarily exposed to radiation.
According to the FDA, the new blood test can predict the presence of an intracranial lesion 97.5% of the time. And the lack of an intracranial lesion 99.6% of the time. The FDA predicts the blood test could eliminate the need for CT scans in at least 1/3 of suspected concussion cases.