September 15, 2015 – BDNF


Anchor lead:  Clearly identifying severity of traumatic brain injury is important in both management and prognosis, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Brain derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, may help assess the severity of brain injury when people are brought to the emergency department, a study by Frederick Korley, an emergency medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues has shown.  Turns out that blood levels of this protein drop as injury is more severe, and this can help predict prognosis.

Korley: It’s not uncommon that we will see patients who come back again to the emergency department after being seen there previously for traumatic brain injury, and they now have persistent headache, and difficulty thinking and difficulty concentrating, and depressive symptoms, and the disconnect is they tell us but I was told  my CT scan was fine.  Why am I still having these symptoms?  :24

Korley says BDNF levels may also suggest a greater need for rehabilitation services and other interventions.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.