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Mark of a Concussion

Many assessments for concussion rely on asking the injured person question like what year it is or who the president is, but researchers and companies are looking for ways to easily tease out biomarkers for concussion from blood samples, Wired reports.

When damaged, such as through a blow to the head during a football game or other sporting event or accident, the axons of nerves in the brain can release proteins into cerebral spinal fluid and a tiny portion of those make their way into the blood, Wired writes. But Quanterix's Simoa, a digitized biomarker assay platform, is now making it possible to pick out these rare proteins, it adds.

Researchers from National Institutes of Health reported in Neurology earlier this month that they were able to detect increased tau protein levels in athletes who'd suffered a concussion and that higher levels of tau were correlated with it taking those players a longer time to return to playing.

"Right now, coaches and players are making decisions based on the subjective self-reporting of symptoms," NIH's Jessica Gill tells Wired. "Having something objective like this can make these safety decisions much more informative."