FREDERICK, Md. — The Army says it has discovered a simple blood test that can diagnose mild traumatic brain damage [TBI] or concussion, a hard-to-detect injury that can affect young athletes, infants with “shaken baby syndrome” and combat troops.
“This is huge,” said Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army vice chief of staff.
Yes, it is, if it pans out. There’s so little actual information in this it’s hard to get excited about it, but let’s say they’ve isolated a ‘brain injury’ protein.
First, it would have uses outside TBI, though that in and of itself might be useful. I don’t want to poo-pooh this test for TBI, but there are already rules for returning to contact sports (and combat has to be the ultimate in contact activities), so what’s the purpose here? (I forsee more Purple Hearts, which is fine…).
Stroke? TIA? Seizure? Pseudotumor cerebri, as a strain indicator? What if this is the test that allows us to diagnose meningitis without doing lumbar punctures? I’m all in on that front…
Let’s hope this pans out, for all our sakes.