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eNeuro. 2016 Dec 21;3(6). pii: ENEURO.0294-16.2016. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0294-16.2016. eCollection 2016 Nov-Dec.

Biomarkers of Traumatic Brain Injury: Temporal Changes in Body Fluids.

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Medicortex Finland Oy, Itäinen Pitkäkatu 4 B, 20520 Turku, Finland.


Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are caused by a hit to the head or a sudden acceleration/deceleration movement of the head. Mild TBIs (mTBIs) and concussions are difficult to diagnose. Imaging techniques often fail to find alterations in the brain, and computed tomography exposes the patient to radiation. Brain-specific biomolecules that are released upon cellular damage serve as another means of diagnosing TBI and assessing the severity of injury. These biomarkers can be detected from samples of body fluids using laboratory tests. Dozens of TBI biomarkers have been studied, and research related to them is increasing. We reviewed the recent literature and selected 12 biomarkers relevant to rapid and accurate diagnostics of TBI for further evaluation. The objective was especially to get a view of the temporal profiles of the biomarkers' rise and decline after a TBI event. Most biomarkers are rapidly elevated after injury, and they serve as diagnostics tools for some days. Some biomarkers are elevated for months after injury, although the literature on long-term biomarkers is scarce. Clinical utilization of TBI biomarkers is still at a very early phase despite years of active research.


TBI; biomarker; diagnostics; traumatic brain injury

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