WUFT News

Banyan Biomarkers Inc. Receives Grant to Continue Concussion Research

By on February 5th, 2014

Detecting a concussion within minutes may become easier, thanks to new technologies developed by an Alachua-based brain trauma research company.

Banyan Biomarkers Inc. announced on Jan. 24 that it received $300,000 from the National Football League and General Electric to continue its collaborative concussion research with University of Florida athletic physicians.

The research results from a finger-prick blood test, which reveals specific protein biomarkers that can quickly identify and measure the severity of a head injury.

Dr. Jay Clugston, a University of Florida physician who works with UF football athletes, said, “The ultimate goal is to develop an objective evaluation for the sideline.”

Clugston has been working with Banyan on this particular concussion research for about three years, and this grant will allow Clugston and Banyan to continue their efforts.

“From my perspective, the grant will allow us to collect many more samples after concussions and at the base line, that’s the biggest part,” Clugston said.

Dr. Jackson Streeter, CEO of Banyan Biomarkers Inc., said, “Discoveries at McKnight (Brain Institute) led to the identification of two proteins that come from the brain that are brain-specific and can be measured in the blood after injury.”

Streeter said he hopes the grant will aid in research at UF that will create a diagnostic test for sports concussions.

The two protein biomarkers, UCH-L1 and GFAP, rapidly appear in the bloodstream after a brain injury, he said.

Clugston said, “Sometimes athletes don’t look outwardly injured from a concussion, and they’ll tell you that they’re fine, or they’ll try to hide an injury from you, so they can keep playing.”

Clugston said 200 athletes in women’s soccer, women’s lacrosse and men’s football were chosen to enroll in the biomarker study because concussions and other head injuries are common in contact sports.

In addition to a quick diagnosis, biomarkers may be used to gauge recovery, Clugston said.

Fast results are crucial to determining whether an athlete is ready to get back on the field and even when military personnel are able to continue fighting tasks, Streeter said.

The test can also benefit young athletes in high school or middle school who obtain head injuries, Clugston said.

“Most concussions don’t need emergency room treatment,” Clugston said.

Most head injuries are not serious, but it is still important to get them checked, he said. Difficulty recovering from a prior concussion and close proximity of head injuries can increase the risk of future concussions.

“Currently, we look for a range of symptoms and signs such as confusion, headaches, dizziness, change in vision or balance or change in emotion,” Clugston said.

Each year emergency departments treat about 173,285 sports and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, among children and adolescents from birth to 19 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Streeter said, “Ultimately we want to see this test available in every emergency room throughout the world.”


This entry was posted in Health and Science and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Health and Science

Jessica Grobman, born HIV-positive, said she believes better sex education in Florida schools would help children grow up safer and healthier. “If education was just more encouraged, it definitely could be a great outcome,” she said.  Photo courtesy of Jessica Grobman.

HIV Positive Student Advocates Comprehensive Sex Education

Jessica Grobman was born with HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus. But it was not until she learned about HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in middle school that she began to understand she was different.


FTN-feature

UF Graduate Students Offer Free Therapy To Those In Need

Volunteer graduate students studying clinical health psychology staff the Free Therapy Night clinic at Gainesville Community Ministry. The equal access clinic focuses specifically on mental health.


UF_Shands

UF Health Shands Hospital Responds To Mold Discovery In North Tower

After a complaint from a cancer patient, UF Health Shands Hospital has removed mold from three patient rooms in the hospital’s north tower.


Selena Sattler searches for the grade of her favorite fast food location on What the Health. The app was recently released in Florida, allowing users quick access to local restaurant grades based on health inspections.

Mobile App Offers Restaurant Health Inspection Grades

An app called What the Health offers users instant access to health inspection data for restaurants in the area. Launched in Florida on Jan. 26, the app assigns letter grades for restaurants based on county health inspection findings.


Chris “Boris” Marhefka and Carlee Daylor prepare meals to be delivered to members for the week.
Eat The 80 recently launched a Facebook campaign that helped raise $3,000 worth of meals to help families undergoing cancer treatment.

Meal Delivery Program To Help Families In Need

At the end of its one-week campaign, Eat The 80 raised $3,000 for meals to give away to families. The money will provide meals for four or five families over the next month.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments