Scientists at two universities in Virginia are working with clinicians from two major health systems and a growing Virginia-based biotechnology company, to find ways to accurately diagnose mTBI that show subtle or no physical signs but yet can cause long term damage.
Virginia Catalyst https://www.virginiacalalyst.org formerly known as the Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation, awarded a grant for $500,000 to the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI) http://research.vtc.vt.edu to develop and commercialize a multi-modality system approach to aid in the diagnosis and management of mTBI.
The funds will be matched by an additional $500,000 to be invested by the project’s industry partner, BRAINBox Solution Inc., www.immunarray.com/brain-box an emerging entity out of ImmunArray. The company will work together with partners to develop a comprehensive blood test that will combine multiple biomarkers to help predict short-and long-term complications of mTBI.
“VTCRI scientists are determined to find scientifically sound and practical solutions to one of the nation’s most pressing health problems”, said Michael J Friedlander, Executive Director of VTCRI and Principal investigator for the project.
The VTCRI team will collaborate with colleagues at the University of Virginia to refine BRAINBox Solutions’ sophisticated biomarker technology and its multi-modality system. Currently the state-of-the-art method for diagnosing mTBI is limited to neurocognitive tests.
Now, by looking into a person’s cognitive performance during advanced brain imaging, researchers will be able to determine the accuracy and relationship of blood biomarkers indicting brain injury.
Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System will perform parallel diagnostic blood tests, neuroimaging, and neuropsychological studies as part of the collaborative program. In addition, Carilion Clinic ED physician Damon Kuehl will recruit patients and athletics seen in the emergency room to participate in the mTBI research plus recruit other volunteers.