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.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Slim Chickens)...
Danny Shapiro

Valley fast-food operator to open 32 Slim Chickens in Arizona

A Phoenix company has announced plans to bring 32 locations of an Arkansas-based chicken fast food restaurant to the Valley and other cities across Arizona over the next 10 years.
16 hours ago
(AZ Legislature Photo)...
Danny Shapiro

Arizona state Rep. Frank Pratt dies following long illness

Republican state Rep. Frank Pratt died Tuesday at age 79 following a long illness, the Arizona House of Representatives announced.
16 hours ago
(Flickr Photo/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)...
Kevin Stone

Damage to Arizona businesses from border restrictions could be permanent

The ongoing U.S. travel restrictions at the Mexican border are causing damage to Arizona businesses that might never be repaired, according to a state business leader.
16 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...

Here are employers who are hiring in metro Phoenix

With businesses opening to full capacity and looking to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, employers in metro Phoenix and Arizona are looking to hire. Here's the list of employers looking for workers.
16 hours ago
Jacobi Walker (Tempe Police Department photo)...

Body of 18-year-old man recovered from Tempe Town Lake

Firefighters on Tuesday recovered the body of an 18-year-old man who drowned after jumping into Tempe Town Lake earlier in the morning, authorities said.
16 hours ago
(AP Photo)...

Poll finds over half oppose Ducey’s ban on mask mandates in Arizona schools

A poll of Arizonans showed more than half oppose Gov. Doug Ducey's ban on mask mandates in schools and withholding funds from districts that have mask requirements.
16 hours ago
Banner, TGen pairing to develop fluids test to diagnose concussions