A team led by researchers at the University of Gothenberg have published a study using Quanterix's Simoa technology to measure the brain protein tau in the blood of hockey players to assess brain injury due to concussions.
Published last week in JAMA Neurology, the study tracked tau levels in subjects for six days post-concussion, comparing those levels to levels measured in a group of players before the start of the season.
The results suggest that tau is elevated significantly following a concussion and remains elevated for up to six days. Quanterix's Simoa technology allowed the researchers to measure the protein – which is typically measured in cerebrospinal fluid – in blood, where it is typically present in concentrations too low to be detected by conventional assays.
"This study demonstrates a great ability to further the understanding of the long term effects of TBI," Quanterix CEO Paul Chapman said in a statement. "One of the most promising applications for our Simoa platform is to provide a simple blood test that could speed the diagnosis of a concussion in a clinical setting and on the sidelines in a sports arena, therefore, improving overall treatment."
Sports related brain injury has been a recent area of focus for the company. In November, it presented a poster at the Neuroscience 2013 conference detailing initial data from the JAMA Neurology work. In January, the company received a grant from the GE and NFL Head Health Challenge to support development of tests to diagnose traumatic brain injuries.