Banner, TGen pairing to develop fluids test to diagnose concussions

Dec 15, 2016, 5:51 AM | Updated: 3:26 pm

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Two Phoenix-area health research companies are pairing up to design a new blood, urine or saliva test to diagnose concussions in athletes.

High school, college and professional sports teams can all struggle at times to diagnose a concussion.

“Every head trauma is not a clinically-relevant concussion,” Dr. Steven Erickson, the medical director of the Banner Concussion Center, said.

He said there is an extensive clinical process to accurately diagnose a concussion and determine when the brain has fully recovered. However, that process takes time.

“CAT scan, MRI, or even high-resolution MRI is completely normal, so there’s no test that you can do to confirm that somebody has or doesn’t have a concussion,” he said.

But that could soon change.

“If there was a simple blood test that could tell you whether you should take this seriously or not, or whether a patient needs to see somebody like myself or not, that would probably help in the whole algorithm of initial evaluation and referral for presumed concussion,” Erickson said.

Erickson’s organization is teaming with the Translational Genomics Research Institute to create such a test.

“The hope is that, with this research, we can identify some sort of molecular marker that tracks the diagnosis and recovery of concussion, so that physicians who don’t have as much experience as myself in the ER, urgent care or primary care setting, could do a blood test that would help them decide whether or not a person has a concussion and when their concussion has recovered,” Erickson said.

A patient’s blood, urine, and saliva would be used in the test.

Erickson said researchers will be looking at 100 existing patients of the Banner Concussion Center. Those who meet specific study criteria will be asked if they’d like to take part in the research.

“The end goal is trying to identify a test that would be consistent with or not consistent with concussions,” he added. “Something that ER, urgent care and primary care doctors could do in that initial evaluation to try to determine whether somebody has a concussion and needs the next level of care or not.”

Such a test could also help determine whether the patient has recovered from that concussion and whether they will suffer any long-term effects.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Arizona election worker threatened by California man, officials say...

California man arrested for sending threatening voicemails to Arizona elections official

A California man allegedly sent threatening voicemails to an Arizona election worker in November 2022, the Justice Department said.

2 hours ago

14th annual Dog Days of Glendale event 2024...

Serena O'Sullivan

Annual Dog Days of Glendale festival returns this weekend

The 14th annual Dog Days of Glendale event will take place at Glendale Landmark School on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

2 hours ago

How the Business Connect program will help Lauren Allen catering...

Serena O'Sullivan

Phoenix catering company to benefit from NFL’s Business Connect program ahead of Final Four

Lauren Allen, a catering and event company, will benefit from the NFL's Business Connect program, which returned in January.

2 hours ago

Tables with balloons and displays are set up Arizona State Fairgrounds Exhibit Building before the ...

Kevin Stone

Attention shoppers: Junior League of Phoenix Rummage Sale returns to Arizona State Fairgrounds

The Junior League of Phoenix’s Annual Rummage Sale -- aka "Arizona's largest indoor garage sale" -- returns to the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix on Saturday.

2 hours ago

Roberto Jay Vasquez, 63, went missing on Wednesday, DPS said...

Serena O'Sullivan

Silver Alert issued for missing 63-year-old man last seen walking in Phoenix

The Arizona Department of Public Safety issued a Silver Alert on Thursday evening for Roberto Jay Vasquez, 63, who was last seen Wednesday.

10 hours ago

A lot of money stuffed inside a briefcase....

Fantasy 5 ticket worth $348,000 sold at grocery store in Phoenix

Luck struck at a Phoenix grocery store after one person hit the jackpot in an Arizona Lottery game on Wednesday, officials said.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Banner, TGen pairing to develop fluids test to diagnose concussions