Brain Injury Protein Plays Role in Concussion Recovery Time

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Brain Injury Protein Plays Role in Concussion Recovery Time

I’m Ed Smith, an Auburn Brain Injury Lawyer. Concussions have received a significant amount of attention from the media and the medical community alike for their potential to harm academic, athletic, and social aspirations. Predicting their recovery time is one of the most challenging aspects of managing this epidemic and new research may make this process easier.

A Significant Problem

When someone suffers a traumatic brain injury, it can be a challenge to gauge their recovery. While the most straightforward way is to track the progression and resolution of their symptoms, this often doesn’t correlate with the injury’s severity or its recovery. Furthermore, symptoms are subjective and do not always look the same from one medical provider to the next. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to objectively diagnose a traumatic brain injury such as a concussion and even harder to objectively track its improvement. A new study might be able to do just that.

Tracking a Protein

A study conducted at the University of Rochester, located in New York, took two groups of athletes that played a variety of sports including lacrosse, hockey, football, soccer, and basketball. The two groups were broken up based on the time it took these athletes to return to play. If an athlete took longer than 10 days to return to play after a concussion, they were placed in the “longer recovery time group.” Those who returned to play in under 10 days were in the “shorter recovery time” group. Based on bloodwork that had been drawn in the first six hours after being diagnosed with a concussion, the athletes who took longer to return to play had elevated levels of the tau protein in their body. The levels of the tau protein correlated with the time it took for an athlete to return to play.

Important Implications

The results of this study represent an important first step in developing an objective test that can help guide medical providers and coaches when determining how long an athlete should sit out following a concussion. Perhaps, the tau protein can be used to predict recovery time following other types of traumatic brain injuries. If providers are able to accurately predict when an athlete should return to play, they can minimize the chances that the individual will suffer a subsequent concussion or develop chronic comorbidities as a result of their injuries. Further research should be conducted in prospective clinical trials that track how athletes perform after returning to play using guidance from the tau protein model.

Contact an Experienced Auburn Brain Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, an Auburn Brain Injury Lawyer. Allowing enough time to recover from concussions is an important part of minimizing their negative impacts and preventing future concussions from happening. If you or someone you know has suffered a concussion in a car accident, please contact my office today at (530) 392-9400 for friendly, free advice. People with questions calling from outside of the local Auburn area are welcome to use my toll-free number at (800) 404-5400.

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Image Source: Used via the Generic Creative Commons Attribution License, version 2.5. From Wikimedia Commons.

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