The issue of brain injuries in children has made headlines in recent years following shocking revelations about concussions in athletes.

As more information became available about the dangers of concussions, schools and local athletic associations drew up new guidelines intended to prevent students who suffer from concussions from playing on.

Recently, doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta were reported to be close to discovering a potential blood biomarker that may detect children’s brain injuries, reported the Newnan Times-Herald.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Andrew Reisner and Neuropsychologist Laura Blackwell received a $466,650 federal grant from the National Institutes of Health that will allow them to focus on this important area.

The study will examine the potential of osteopontin, a blood protein, as a reliable biomarker. It will use blood samples from 175 patients under 21 years of age.

Georgia study of brain injuries in children

Grant helps study brain injuries in children

The research is expected to help young people who suffer from concussions. The Times-Herald reported this important blood biomarker has the potential to detect injuries like concussions, and then evaluate the severity of the injury. Utilizing the biomarker could improve detection and treatment.

Officials with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta say at present there is no simple lab test to monitor the progression of brain injury. Dr. Andrew Reisner said:

“We are thrilled to receive this honor and recognition from the NIH. Identifying a potential blood biomarker for traumatic brain injuries in children could mean physicians at children and around the world would be able to provide even more accurate and informed care for their patients.”

Younger people experience higher levels of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Head and brain injuries are sustained in auto accidents, after falls or via blows to the heads sustained by athletes in sports such as football.

Centers for Disease Control say TBIs caused about 2.5 million emergency department visits in the U.S. in 2010 alone. They account for about 30 percent of all injury-related deaths and 138 deaths every single day in the United States.

The report stated the highest rate of traumatic brain injury-related ER visits is by people from birth to 24 years old.

Concussions have been linked to a serious condition in professional athletes called  chronic traumatic encephalopathy. CTE has been linked to serious conditions and suicides in NFL players and college athletes.

If you suffer from a traumatic brain injury, your life can be turned upside down. Young people who suffer a TBI may experience issues with their memory, sensation, movement and emotional and behavioral functioning.

These symptoms may be permanent. If you or a loved one has suffered from a TBI, please call our Georgia injury lawyers today at (404) 913-1529.