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Biomarkers in traumatic brain injury (TBI): a review

Authors Dadas A, Washington J, Diaz-Arrastia R, Janigro D

Received 3 March 2018

Accepted for publication 20 June 2018

Published 8 November 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 2989—3000

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S125620

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Aaron Dadas,1 Jolewis Washington,1 Ramon Diaz-Arrastia,2 Damir Janigro1,3

1FloTBI Inc., Cleveland, OH, USA; 2Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 3Department of Physiology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA

Abstract: Biomarkers can be broadly defined as qualitative or quantitative measurements that convey information on the physiopathological state of a subject at a certain time point or disease state. Biomarkers can indicate health, pathology, or response to treatment, including unwanted side effects. When used as outcomes in clinical trials, biomarkers act as surrogates or substitutes for clinically meaningful endpoints. Biomarkers of disease can be diagnostic (the identification of the nature and cause of a condition) or prognostic (predicting the likelihood of a person’s survival or outcome of a disease). In addition, genetic biomarkers can be used to quantify the risk of developing a certain disease. In the specific case of traumatic brain injury, surrogate blood biomarkers of imaging can improve the standard of care and reduce the costs of diagnosis. In addition, a prognostic role for biomarkers has been suggested in the case of post-traumatic epilepsy. Given the extensive literature on clinical biomarkers, we will focus herein on biomarkers which are present in peripheral body fluids such as saliva and blood. In particular, blood biomarkers, such as glial fibrillary acidic protein and salivary/blood S100B, will be discussed together with the use of nucleic acids (eg, DNA) collected from peripheral cells.

Keywords: peripheral markers, blood–brain barrier, post-traumatic epilepsy, fluid biomarkers, mild traumatic brain injury, neuroimaging

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