Saturday, October 16, 2010

An Unintended Benefit of War

USA Today is reporting that the US Army has developed a blood test that can detect mild brain damage or concussion.

Army Col. Dallas Hack, who has oversight of the research, says recent data show the blood test, which looks for unique proteins that spill into the blood stream from damaged brain cells, accurately diagnosing mild traumatic brain injury in 34 patients.

The Army Vice Chief of Staff states accurately that "This is huge".

This is more than huge. This could be a total game changer for my kid's generation. No longer will a child with a concussion play when they should sit a game out, nor will a healthy child have to ride the bench when they can play. From middle school to the Majors or the NFL, athletes will have better protection. More importantly our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines can be more accurately screened; troops who are well can stay in the fight while those who need care can be quickly identified.

The Army worked with a company in Florida called Banyan Biomarkers. There will be a final set of clinical trials that will run through 2013.

If this pans out and makes it's way into general use, I think some of the scientists involved should get Nobel Prizes. Because "This is huge".

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