LONDON, ON, Aug. 31, 2021 /CNW/ – Clinical scientists at Neurolytixs have discovered a way to fundamentally change the way concussions are diagnosed in amateur sports: with a prick of a finger. The first test of its kind to yield up to 96% accuracy, the simple blood test leverages artificial intelligence to help diagnose concussions.
The two-step process is fast and efficient. Step one is for individuals to document their “chemical fingerprint” by submitting a baseline finger-prick blood sample at the start of the sporting season. This baseline is important as it provides the most accurate, personalized assessment for patients. If a possible concussion occurs, a new finger-prick blood sample is then sent to the lab for testing within a 72-hour window post-incident and is compared with the athlete’s original baseline sample, as well as a population reference range. This step can accurately determine if the child has had a concussion or not within 20 minutes. Parents, coaches, and teachers everywhere will be able to access and administer the simple test.
“This technology will have a significant impact on the more than 10% of young athletes that experience a concussion every year,” says Dr. Douglas Fraser, co-founder, and developer of the Neurolytixs technology. “With another 50% of concussions going undiagnosed in youth sports, this will be a game-changer for children and youth who participate in organized sports in Canada.”
Currently, concussions are diagnosed subjectively through physical, cognitive, and behavioural methodologies, which can be misinterpreted and manipulated – threatening the recovery and brain health of concussed children and youth who participate in organized sports. Better diagnosis is key to protecting the long-term health and well-being of young athletes.
“As a parent, I know all too well that concussions are a serious concern,” says Wendy Daniel, whose three children all experienced concussions in high school. “I look forward to a day when this technology is in every locker room, school gymnasium, and on every sports field.”
As safe return-to-play for children is top-of-mind for parents following months of COVID protocols, they are also looking for additional ways to keep their kids safe. With two out of three parents worried about concussions in sport, Neurolytixs’ new technology will help bring proper diagnosis and much-needed peace of mind. The diagnostic tool will help remove injured athletes from play to prevent further acute injury and optimize strategies for proper recovery protocols.
“New technology for sound concussion diagnosis is key to protect brain health,” says Dr. Garth Smith, Vice President, Business Development and Partnerships at the Ontario Brain Institute. “More innovation can and must be pursued to support the most at-risk groups for brain injury: kids, athletes and our military personnel.”
“The commercialization potential of this innovation is extraordinary,” says Neurolytixs co-founder Adrian Uthay. “Neurolytixs is a truly ‘Made in Canada‘ market disruptor that has global potential.” Patented here in Canada and around the world, with plans underway to secure regulatory approval in US and Europe, the product is now moving into large-scale clinical trials. On track to distribute the product by 2022, the team has identified substantial commercial interest in this technology because of its robust preliminary results.
This product has been six years in the making and amongst field experts, it is considered the “Holy Grail” of traumatic brain injury research. “The general consensus amongst doctors is if it’s 70% accurate, it’s a good test. Our peer-reviewed science yields an accuracy up to 96%. In the medical community, that is very rare,” says Dr. Fraser. “This is big for parents and young athletes, but it’s also important to other groups as well. Imagine the benefit to our other populations– similar technology can be life-saving for those who experience serious injury events including falls, car crashes and blasts.”
More information on the upcoming clinical trials and the future of this technology is available from Neurolytixs.
Dr. Douglas Fraser, Peter George, and Adrian Uthay founded Neurolytixs following the discovery of a novel blood test for concussion diagnosis in London, Ontario. Neurolytixs was created to provide rapid and accurate diagnostics for mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) using dried plasma spot and metabolite measurements via a mass spectrometer. Neurolytixs has licensed and fully executed patented technology that revolutionizes mTBI diagnostics. Neurolytixs works in partnership with Lawson Health Research Institute/Western University, MaRS, Techstars Accelerators, and Ontario Centre for Innovation. Additionally, institutions like the Ontario Brain Institute are supportive of any concussion research.