FDA approves blood test for detecting concussions

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Wednesday that it has approved the first blood test to determine mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), commonly referred to as concussion, in adults. The blood test, called the “Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator”, was reviewed and approved by the FDA in less than six months as part of its Breakthrough Devices Program.

The Brain Trauma Indicator works by measuring levels of proteins that are released from the brain into the blood and are detectable within 15 to 20 minutes of injury. Test results can be available within three to four hours and were found to have a 97 percent or higher accuracy. The blood test, which is predicted to cost around $150, will help health care professionals determine the need for a CT scan, which is much more expensive and subjects the patient to radiation exposure.