(ARS TECHNICA) – A barely bruised brain can send out molecular SOS signals in the blood for days after an injury, researchers report this week in JAMA Neurology.
The finding suggests that new blood tests, already in development to detect those signals, may be able to identify even the mildest concussions well after a knock to the head.
"It is common for patients who have had a concussion or mild [traumatic brain injury] not to seek immediate medical attention," the authors write. Kids, in particular, might have delayed or mild symptoms and go without treatment right away. Letting a concussion go undiagnosed may mean returning to work or school too soon, thwarting the brain's efforts to heal. This can lead to dizziness, memory loss, depression, and headaches. And if a patient returns to play or sports too quickly, further hits to the head could lead to more severe or even permanent damage.
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