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Cleveland Clinic researchers awarded NIH grant to study concussion-identifying blood test
Date:9/15/2011

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The test will search for the presence of S100B in the blood. This protein is typically found in the brain, so finding elevated levels of S100B in the blood is a sign of damage to the blood-brain barrier, a protective barricade separating the brain from circulating blood. These results could help doctors, parents and athletes determine the severity of a concussion and when a player is ready to return to play after a concussion, while also providing indication of potential long-term pathological brain changes.

In addition, these new tests and the game-by-game observance of athletes allow for earlier diagnoses and treatment. Currently, detailed neurological and behavioral testing may be delayed for several days after an event, creating uncertainty and potential risk.

In preliminary testing, Cleveland Clinic researchers measured S100B levels prior to, immediately after and one day post-game in 33 college football players. Average S100B levels immediately after the game were significantly higher than baseline only in those players who experienced the most head-to-head impact during the game.

The $250,000 NIH grant will allow researchers to compare players' S100B levels to their brain MRIs, in order to determine whether S100B is predictive of and able to detect brain damage.

The S100B blood test is one of several projects Cleveland Clinic is undertaking to better detect and prevent brain injuries across a wide range of sports, including football, boxing, hockey and soccer. Teams of researchers are working to make safer youth football helmets (through a grant from NFL Charities), to create an Intelligent Mouthguard that measures the number and severity of hits to the head among athletes, and to develop an iPad app that uses the device's built-in gyroscope to quantitatively capture pre- and post-game measures of balance, memory and cognition. In Las Vegas, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health has launched
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Contact: Tracy Wheeler
wheelet2@ccf.org
216-444-4235
Cleveland Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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