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Orlando Health: Concussions Detected Through Blood Test

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

What if a concussion could be diagnosed on the field like a diabetic testing their blood sugar? Orlando Health researchers are working on that.

Seven hundred children are treated every day in hospitals nationwide because of concussions. And deciding who to bring in is done by looking at a child’s symptoms: Are they dizzy, nauseous, do they have blurred vision or trouble balancing.

If the answer is yes, a CT scan is done to confirm. But Orlando Health researchers have found a new biomarker, and can now diagnose a concussion with a blood test.

According to a study published in the Academic Emergency Medicine journal, that blood test is 94 percent accurate when compared to a CT scan. And the amount of the biomarker in the blood even correlates to the severity of the concussion.

Researchers say this could change the way concussions are diagnosed, both in children and adults. Orlando Health officials say they want to turn the blood test into a simple kit that can be used by coaches on the field.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.