In January 2018 the NFL released statistics indicating that concussions were increased by 16% during the 2017 season. This increase has been blamed on improved reporting standards. While early (sideline) evaluation methods are improving, the inherent problem remains, subjectivity. Players, teammates, coaches, and even the athletic training staff all must rely on subjective analysis to determine whether an athlete has suffered a concussion. Even the sports medicine physicians and neurologists on the sidelines are limited to evaluation techniques that are controlled by their individual expertise in “subjectively” interpreting the neurological testing that they can perform inside that now familiar blue tent.
A few companies have already developed the technology to quickly and easily draw and evaluate athlete’s blood moments after a suspected concussion to objectively determine if the blood brain barrier has been disrupted. No questions need to be asked, the blood doesn’t lie. For years the medical staff has taken players back to the locker room for X-rays to scan for broken bones, to indicate whether it is safe for them to return to the game. Why not follow the same diagnostic procedure for the brain, with a blood test?
At Atlas Concussion Testing we have the capability of confirming when the blood brain barrier is disrupted, but quite possibly even more importantly, we have the exclusive technology to measure when the blood brain barrier has healed. It is vital that athletes are removed from play when they have suffered a concussion, knowing when it is SAFE for them to return to play has plagued team medical staffs and physicians for years. Our biomarkers can take the guesswork out of the decision of IF to remove from play and WHEN to return to play.