Will there ever be a Simple Blood Test for TBI?
Although blood tests exist for many pathological conditions (e.g. heart attacks and mononucleosis), the FDA has never approved a blood test to diagnose neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease or TBI. Although these neurologic conditions are associated with specific protein breakdown products (called biomarkers), they don’t get into the body’s bloodstream in appreciable quantities. That’s because the brain has its own circulatory system called the blood brain barrier (BBB) which is designed to keep harmful blood-born substances from getting to the brain. The BBB not only screens out many neuro-toxins and drugs from reaching the brain, but it also restricts what substances will be transferred from cerebral blood circulation to the body’s blood stream.
As of the Spring 2011 Banyan Biomarkers, Inc. was working with the FDA to get approval for a new test to diagnose TBI on a spectrum of severity based on the amount of protein biomarkers for TBI. The day may finally come when there is a simple blood test for TBI that can be administered in hospital emergency rooms.