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Blood test could improve accuracy of TBI diagnoses

Construction workers, sports players and the victims of car crashes are all liable to suffer from head trauma. What may seem like minor head trauma at first can turn out to be a traumatic brain injury. Oklahoma residents should know that there are currently two primary ways to detect a TBI: MRIs and CT scans.

These two methods come with drawbacks. Many hospitals cannot afford MRI equipment, and MRIs take time. CT scans may be less expensive, quicker and more widely available, but they are liable to miss TBIs. However, there is a new blood test that may detect TBIs with greater accuracy than either of these. It has been the subject of a recent study.

The study, published in The Lancet Neurology, involved 450 patients with a suspected TBI who underwent a CT scan that searched for glial fibrillary acidic protein. This protein is perceived to be a biomarker for brain damage as it is supposed to be released into the blood stream in the wake of a TBI.

The patients underwent an MRI two weeks later, followed by the blood test that gives GFAP readings. While the blood test did not predict the MRI results perfectly, it gave objective, real-time information that researchers believe can greatly help in increasing the accuracy of TBI detection.

Improving TBI diagnosis can be a great help to those who believe that their brain injury was the result of another's negligence. It means that they will have more solid proof on which to build their case. Proving the other's negligence and negotiating a settlement are steps that could be hard and complicated, so victims may want legal counsel. The lawyer may speak on a victim's behalf at the negotiation table or in the courtroom.

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