The Need for an Objective TBI Test

Neuroscientist Dr. Ronald Hayes talks about how a blood biomarker would be a powerful adjunct to imaging and in-person evaluations when testing someone for a brain injury.

See more videos with Dr. Ronald Hayes.

See, I was a fighter pilot, and of course, we lived in fear of the flight surgeon, and the first thing you do, you lie. What are you going to tell the flight surgeon? "I'm fine, doc." The need for objective tests is clear to everyone. Like any good medical practice, you want to supplement any diagnosis with as much information as you can get. Biomarkers won't replace imaging or functional assessments, but they'll provide a very powerful adjunct piece of information that is objective, that doesn't require your report individually. Of course, football players have the same experience. They lie. They take the tests. They do badly on the neuro-psych baseline test so even when they do badly after a concussion no one will know the difference, all these strategies. They want to get in the game, and any good soldier wants to do the same. So we feel like--what's wonderful in the midst of all this tragedy is that the military needs very much overlap with the civilian. The efforts that the military makes on behalf of these improved diagnostic tools will have immediate applicability in the civilian sector. Our citizens, I think, should be quite grateful. In fact, the military in many ways, the Department of Defense, is starting to take the lead in traumatic brain injury research, in acute brain injury.
Posted on BrainLine April 2, 2013.

Produced by Brian King, Vicky Youcha, and Erica Queen, BrainLine.