Several Biomarkers Studied In Order To Develop A Diagnostic Test For Minor Head Trauma

A new study suggests that even Olympic boxers show signs of minor central nervous system damage. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

While everyone knows that getting punched in the head can lead to brain damage, there is no good diagnostic test to measure the amount of degeneration. Currently, the best method is an MRI of the brain to check for swelling along with cognitive tests. Researchers from Sweden are trying to remedy this situation by examining several biomarkers in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in Olympic boxers.

This study involved 30 Olympic boxers with at least 45 fights and 25 people in the control group. Each boxer was tested 1 to 6 days after the fight and then again after a rest period of 14 days. Unfortunately, it seems that the best way to get CSF is to perform a spinal tap, which can include some scary side effects. I'll quote this article for the researcher's conclusions.

The researchers conclude that increased CSF levels of T-tau, NFL, GFAP, and S-100B (these are the biomarkers) in more than 80% of the boxers demonstrates that both the acute and the cumulative effect of head trauma in Olympic boxing may induce CSF biomarker changes that suggest minor central nervous injuries. They also state that the lack of normalization of NFL and GFAP after the rest period in a subgroup of boxers may indicate ongoing degeneration, and the recurrent head trauma in boxing may be associated with increased risk of chronic traumatic brain injury.

Essentially, these biomarkers are showing elevated levels in Olympic boxers suggest that there could be minor central nervous injuries. This is a scary result because amateur boxers are supposed to be protected from brain injury by the headgear. Also it seems that if these researchers repeated this study on professional boxers, the results could be staggering. Hopefully, more study into these biomarkers will lead to a diagnostic test to help boxers know when they are approaching the point of no return in terms of brain trauma.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bad Left Hook

You must be a member of Bad Left Hook to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bad Left Hook. You should read them.

Join Bad Left Hook

You must be a member of Bad Left Hook to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bad Left Hook. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker