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Currently, there are neither a proven therapy for mitigating brain damage and improving long-term function, nor a test for identifying the small subset of concussion sufferers at risk of brain damage and in need of treatment. Consequently, new prognostic methods for mTBI are needed to identify at risk cases, especially at an early and potentially treatable stage.
In concussion patients treated in the Emergency Room, increased plasma SNTF on the day of injury correlated significantly with neuroimaging abnormalities and with cognitive impairment that persisted for at least 3 months. In ice hockey players evaluated after an in-game concussion or concussion-free training, serum SNTF exhibited diagnostic accuracy for concussion, and within hours identified those cases that would go on to exhibit prolonged post-concussion symptoms requiring a delay in their return to play.
Brain microscopic studies confirmed that SNTF is a biologically plausible blood marker for concussion, accumulating preferentially in damaged axons after TBI.
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