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The biggest single factor in dealing with concussions is that most, if not all of the techniques in use in sports are subjective. This means each time someone is sent for evaluation there is a high risk of something going wrong. The person administering the test could be incompetent. The person taking the test could have thrown the baseline testing at the beginning of the year in case they “got their bell rung”. The administrator could be instructed by nefarious types to pass everyone who isn’t bleeding from the ears and throwing up on themselves. And of course players could fake the results and lie their way back into play.
The University of Pennsylvania may just have solved the problem. According to an article published in Frontiers of Neurology, they have developed a blood test to accurately predict long term impact of brain trauma. The study was small, and it is unknown what number of the participants had previous concussions. The study is however promising and potentially good news for parents, athletes and the sporting industry.
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