Skip to page navigation menu Skip entire header
Brown University
Skip 13 subheader links

Blood biomarkers for the doiagnosis of pediatric mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)


In the United States alone, an estimated 1.7 million civilians sustain traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year, 70-90% of which are classified as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) (Faul 2010; Tagliaferri 2006). mTBI, often referred to as concussion, poses a substantial diagnostic challenge in that self-reported symptoms and cognitive tests are the most common means of evaluation. Yet, no purely objective means of evaluation currently exist. In the pediatric population, diagnosing concussion may be even more difficult given that children may have trouble articulating their symptoms. This pediatric study is based off a previous study conducted by the Brown University Department of Emergency Medicineâ\u20ac™s Neurotrauma and Brain Barriers Laboratory, which tested a panel of 18 potential biomarkers of mTBI in the adult population. The adult study found that plasma concentrations four of the proinflammtory cytokines: copeptin; galectin 3 (LGALS3); matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9); and occludin (OCLN) were modulated beyond their resepective threshold values in patients that sustained mTBI (Shan 2015) For the pediatric study, mTBI blood samples were harvested from patients (n=90, aged 9-18 years inclusive) on a volunteer basis in the Emergency Department of Rhode Island Hospital (RIH) who were diagnosed with concussion based on a GCS score of 13-15 with no co-existing injuries. Orthopedic injury (OI) and healthy patient plasma samples were also obtained from the RIH Emergency Department as controls. Sandwich Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) were used to measure the plasma concentration of protein biomarkers under investigation. To determine the biomarkers' ability to discern mTBI from controls, receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves will be generated to determine the specificity of the biomarkers both separately and in combination with each other. As the data are still being processed, no results are available to present at this present time.


Thomasian, Nicole, "Blood biomarkers for the doiagnosis of pediatric mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)" (2015). Summer Research Symposium. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.



  • Summer Research Symposium

    Each year, Brown University showcases the research of its undergraduates at the Summer Research Symposium. More than half of the student-researchers are UTRA recipients, while others receive funding from a variety of Brown-administered and national programs and fellowships and go …