Blood test for concussions? Researchers report some progress

CHICAGO — New research bolsters evidence that a simple blood test may someday be used to detect concussions.

It suggests that a protein linked with head trauma may be present in blood up to a week after injury, which could help diagnose patients who delay seeking treatment.

The study involved patients at one hospital in Florida and the results are preliminary. A concussion blood test based on the proteins studied or on other biomarkers is likely at least a few years away from routine use.

But an editorial published with the study Monday in JAMA Neurology said the results "are a substantial step" in developing a test that could be used in broad settings, from the battlefield to sports events and doctors' offices.