An interesting new study looking deeper into concussion in response to the raised contention for how athletes are treated after a significant head impact. New Penn Medicine research has found that elevated levels of the brain rich protein calpain- cleaved alpha 2- spectrin N- terminal fragment….deep breath… known in short as SNTF, is an indicator of concussion severity.
If shortly after a head injury ones levels of SNTF are significantly raised, the chances of the athlete going on to develop a diffuse axonal injury and long term cognitive dysfunction can be predicted. Robert Siman, PhD, Research Professor of Neurosurgery at Penn explained:
"This blood test may aid neurobiologically-informed decisions on suitability for return to play following a sports-related concussion."
So any player suffering a head injury can expect to receive a jab in the arm for their trouble too, but this should go some way to protecting athletes in the future.
Siman, R., Shahim, P., Tegner, Y., Blennow, K., Zetterberg, H., Smith, D, H. (2014). Serum SNTF Increases in Concussed Professional Ice Hockey Players and Relates to the Severity of Post-Concussion Symptoms. Journal of Neurotrauma. 141124140352009 DOI: 10.1089/neu.2014.3698
Science Daily, (2014). Protein Elevated in Blood Predicts Post-Concussion Symptom Severity in Professional Athletes. Retrieved 26th November, 2014, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141125180315.htm