Biomarker in blood may predict recovery time after sports concussion

2017

Challenge

Despite the millions of sports-related concussions that occur annually in the United States, there is no reliable blood-based test that can predict an athlete’s recovery and readiness to return to play.

Advance

IRP researchers led by Jessica Gill, Ph.D., R.N., found that concussed athletes who needed a longer amount of recovery time before returning to play (more than 10 days after concussion) had higher concentrations of tau protein in their blood at six, 24, and 72 hours post-concussion compared to athletes who were able to return to play in 10 days or less.

Impact

The team’s findings indicate that changes in tau concentrations, measured in as short a time as within six hours of a sports-related concussion, may provide objective clinical information to better inform athletes, trainers, and team physicians’ decision-making about predicted recovery times and when it is safe to return to play.

Publications

Gill J, Merchant-Borna K, Jeromin A, Livingston W, Bazarian J. Acute plasma tau relates to prolonged return to play after concussion. Neurology. 2017 Feb 7;88(6):595-602. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000003587. Epub 2017 Jan 6. PubMed PMID:28062722; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5304458.