Biomarkers of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major national health problem. At present, the primary clinical methods for the evaluation of TBI are the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), pupil reactivity, and CT of the head. While these indices have proven useful for stratifying the magnitude and extent of brain damage, they have limited usefulness for predicting adverse secondary events or detecting subtle brain damage. There is no definitive diagnostic test for TBI to help physicians determine the seriousness of injury or the extent of cellular pathology.

There is need for discovery and validation of better biomarkers for TBI. Desirable attributes of an ideal TBI biomarker are:

  • • Should be ideally available in blood rather than CSF
  • • A simple method for measurement that can be used at point-of-care
  • • Should correlate with structural injury to the brain and the clinical outcome
  • • Should give information on mechanism of neuronal injury.
  • • Marker level should be elevated within 24 h after TBI.
  • • Should correlation with other TBI diagnostics such as MRI and CT
  • • Sensitivity to subclinical or mild TBI
  • • Usable for prediction of efficacy of therapy
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