Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Blood test identifies brain damage from concussion in ice hockey

14.03.2014

Half way into last year's season, 35 of 288 players in the Swedish Hockey League had already had a concussion. Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, who surveyed all of the players in the league's 12 clubs, have now developed a method that can show just an hour after the injury how severe the concussion is, if there is a risk of long-term symptoms and about when the player can return to the game.

Between September and December of the 2012/2013 season alone, 35 of 288 players in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) had had a concussion - in three cases, it was so severe that the player was knocked unconscious.

These were the findings of researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, who monitored and examined all of the players in the Sweden's top hockey league in cooperation with Luleå University of Technology. 

The goal of the unique study was to find safer methods of diagnosing sports-related brain injuries, and to obtain a better basis for decisions about when the player can return to the game. 

In the study, the players who had a concussion were asked to provide repeated blood samples, directly after the concussion and during the ensuing days. The results were compared with the pre-season samples from two full teams. 

This way, Professor Henrik Zetterberg and his colleagues could show that a special nerve cell protein, called tau, at elevated levels in the blood is a marker of concussion. 

By measuring the tau levels in a regular blood test, the researchers could say how severe the concussion was just one hour after the injury, and with a high level of certainty could predict which players would have long-term symptoms and thereby needed to rest longer. 

"In ice hockey and other contact sports, repeated concussions are common, where the brain has not finished healing after the first blow. This kind of injury is particularly dangerous, but there have not been any methods for monitoring how a concussion in an athlete heals," says Henrik Zetterberg. 

Henrik Zetterberg is among the world's leading brain researchers and has conducted research on concussions in sports for many years and in numerous studies. According to Zetterberg, the new findings are not only relevant to ice hockey, but to all sports where there is a risk of head injuries. 

"In contact sports like ice hockey, boxing and American football, concussions are a growing international problem. The stakes for the individual athlete are high, and the list of players forced to quit with life-long injury is getting ever longer," says Henrik Zetterberg. 

"We hope that this method will be developed into a clinical tool for club physicians and others in sports medicine, and is used as a basis for the decision on how long the player should rest after a blow to the head," says Henrik Zetterberg. “It could even be used in general in emergency medical care to diagnose brain damage from concussions regardless of how they happened.”

The study was conducted in cooperation with researchers at the Luleå University of Technology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital and the US biotech firm Quanterix Corporation. 

Yelverton Tegner, a researcher at Luleå University of Technology and also physician for the Swedish national women's football team, is positive:

“Our goal is to have a working kit that can be used for diagnostics in hospitals, and perhaps also at rink side in stadiums immediately when someone got a concussion”.

The article Blood biomarkers for brain injury in concussed professional ice hockey players is being published in JAMA Neurology on 13 March.
JAMA Neurol. Published online March 13, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.367

Contact:
Henrik Zetterberg, Professor at the Institution for Neuroscience and Physiology, the Sahlgrenska Academy
+46 (0)768-67 26 47
henrik.zetterberg@gu.se

Pashtun Shahim, Doctoral Candidate at the Institution for Neuroscience and Physiology, the Sahlgrenska Academy
+46 (0)762-70 45 84
pashtun.shahim@neuro.gu.se

YelvertonTegner, MD Luleå Hockey and Professor at the Luleå University of Technology
+46 (0)920-493923
+46 (0)70-3141410
yelverton.tegner@ltu.se

Pressofficer Krister Svahn, Krister.svahn@sahlgrenska.su.se; +46- 766 183 869

Weitere Informationen:

http://archneur.jamanetwork.com/journal.aspx link to journal

Krister Svahn | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Institution Neuroscience Physiology Technology athlete damage injury levels

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Faster detection of pathogens in the lungs
24.06.2016 | Universität Zürich

nachricht How yeast cells regulate their fat balance
23.06.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First experimental quantum simulation of particle physics phenomena

Physicists in Innsbruck have realized the first quantum simulation of lattice gauge theories, building a bridge between high-energy theory and atomic physics. In the journal Nature, Rainer Blatt‘s and Peter Zoller’s research teams describe how they simulated the creation of elementary particle pairs out of the vacuum by using a quantum computer.

Elementary particles are the fundamental buildings blocks of matter, and their properties are described by the Standard Model of particle physics. The...

Im Focus: Is There Life On Mars?

Survivalist back from Space - 18 months on the outer skin of the ISS

A year and a half on the outer wall of the International Space Station ISS in altitude of 400 kilometers is a real challenge. Whether a primordial bacterium...

Im Focus: CWRU physicists deploy magnetic vortex to control electron spin

Potential technology for quantum computing, keener sensors

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have developed a way to swiftly and precisely control electron spins at room temperature.

Im Focus: Physicists measured something new in the radioactive decay of neutrons

The experiment inspired theorists; future ones could reveal new physics

A physics experiment performed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has enhanced scientists' understanding of how free neutrons decay...

Im Focus: Discovery of gold nanocluster 'double' hints at other shape changing particles

New analysis approach brings two unique atomic structures into focus

Chemically the same, graphite and diamonds are as physically distinct as two minerals can be, one opaque and soft, the other translucent and hard. What makes...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ERES 2016: The largest conference in the European real estate industry

09.06.2016 | Event News

Networking 4.0: International Laser Technology Congress AKL’16 Shows New Ways of Cooperations

24.05.2016 | Event News

Challenges of rural labor markets

20.05.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nanoscientists develop the 'ultimate discovery tool'

24.06.2016 | Materials Sciences

Russian physicists create a high-precision 'quantum ruler'

24.06.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Hubble confirms new dark spot on Neptune

24.06.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>