According to a recent news release appearing in the ArmyTimes, in 2 years the Army is expected to have an FDA-approved battlefield blood test for traumatic brain injuries (TBI). In the release, COL Dallas Hack, director of combat casualty care at Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, Md, notes that the Army’s trials of the blood test among troops in Afghanistan have shown promise.
Hack adds that the Army has reached an agreement with the FDA regarding the indications for use of the test and is currently modifying the test protocol. Hack also notes that the number of subjects slated to participate in the trial has increased to 2,000. The trial is reportedly expected to reach completion in a year. Following its completion, the FDA will analyze the data gathered.
Hack reports that researchers have pinpointed proteins that appear in the blood following cell damage as a result of brain injury. The test is designed to spotlight the presence of the proteins. Hack acknowledges in the release that test is intended for use only within days of the injury. “It doesn’t really help with the long-term, but the reason we are pushing that particular test—especially what I consider a battlefield test or a sideline test—is that we can actually find these cell breakdown products in the blood.”
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