Abbott, DOD to Create Concussion-Detecting Blood Tests

August 19, 2014

Abbott is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop portable blood tests that can help to evaluate potential concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injuries, the two groups said Monday.

The tests will be designed to work with Abbott’s i-STAT System, a handheld blood analyzer that the military currently uses for other point-of-care testing. The device is capable of performing a wide array of blood tests with two or three drops of blood, Abbott said.

According to the company, normal imaging technologies may miss abnormalities and symptoms can be mistaken for other medical conditions. But research suggests that certain proteins are released in the bloodstream following a brain injury, suggesting a role for blood tests in diagnosing concussions.

Since 2000, more than 300,000 service members have been diagnosed with TBIs, according to DOD. Quick and accurate diagnosis is imperative to ensure soldiers are removed from duty and treated, said Colonel Dallas Hack, brain health coordinator for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. — Kellen Owings

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