Army Looks To Blood Tests To Detect Concussions | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Army Looks To Blood Tests To Detect Concussions

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Doctors say mild traumatic brain injuries, or concussions, can be extremely difficult to detect, but now the Army is working on a new solution: a blood test.

The test searches for proteins that enter the blood stream from damaged brain cells. The Army says it has positively diagnosed more than 30 patients using the method, but some doctors question whether the test could replace the use of MRIs and other screening tests--the methods that are currently used.

Jim Scott, the dean of the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, says finding the perfect test is a challenge.

"Trying to find something that's sensitive enough that it picks up injury that's real, but specific enough that it doesn't pick up things where two days later the person is completely back to normal--that's been the difficulty of this, and that's going to be a difficulty for some time to come," Scott says.

The Army is working to get FDA approval for public use of the test.

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