New traumatic brain injury test is ‘game-changing,’ concussion experts say
There are millions of TBI hospitalizations and deaths each year.
What is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)? “TBI is a disruption in normal brain function caused by a blow or jolt to the head. A concussion is the mildest form of TBI, but patients may suffer a constellation of physical, cognitive, emotional and sleep symptoms. Some of the most common signs include confusion, headaches, blurry or double vision, dizziness, fatigue, memory loss, difficulties with concentration and insomnia.” The usual way to diagnose concussion is by subjective self-report, CT and MRI scans, and clinical judgement. According to the article, there can be a great deal of inaccuracies in the diagnosis until now.“In a world first, a newly authorized handheld device will allow doctors to detect traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in under 15 minutes, potentially saving lives by dramatically shortening the time it takes to properly diagnose the issue.The device is made by Abbott, a medical device company based in the United States… This is a huge milestone that has never been done before — a blood test for the brain,” said Dr. Beth McQuiston, medical director for Abbott’s diagnostic businesses.” By the way, imagine how this test can be hugely helpful for high school, college, and professional sports wherein players are frequently hurt and often their concussions are either not diagnosed properly or misdiagnosed entirely. This is a real boon to understanding the brain and the affects of TBI.
ABC News, January 11, 2021, by Dr. Mishal Reja and Dr. Leah Croll
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CLASS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
•What is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)? What are the causes and symptoms?
•Up until this new test, how have concussions and TBI been diagnosed? What have been the problems with getting an accurate diagnosis?
•What is the new test for TBI? How is it administered? How does it aid diagnosis and what are the advantages of using this new test?