Researchers led by Linda Papa at Orlando Regional Medical Center in Florida report that proteins released from the brain due to a concussion may be detected in the blood, according to Postmedia News. Papa and her colleagues examined the serum levels of ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase in 295 people with mild and moderate traumatic brain injury and in 199 controls, both injured and uninjured. In The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, Papa and her colleagues report that "UCH-L1 is detectable in serum within an hour of injury and is associated with measures of injury severity."
"The key is, could these proteins tell us in advance how severe the head injury is, and is this patient going to require some kind of neurosurgery?" Papa tells Postmedia News. "There's really no approved blood test for the brain as we know it right now." She adds that such a test could be possible within five years.