By Steve Large

UC DAVIS (CBS13) — Diagnosing a concussion could be as simple as getting a blood test after a medical breakthrough.

Dr. Brandee Waite’s office looks more like a gym. The UC Davis sports medicine doctor helps diagnose concussions and helps patients exercise safely as they recover.

“In sports medicine concussion is a hot topic right now,” she said.

Now, a blood test could change how concussions are diagnosed and treated.

For now, many athletes take baseline tests to determine whether they’ve received a concussion later. It requires some guesswork.

“The appeal of a blood test is great, and we’ve been talking about this or looking for this you know for a long time,” she said.

The new blood test, developed by Orlando Health and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, tracks certain proteins that turn up in the blood after a traumatic brain injury.

“Just like with heart attacks, we didn’t used to have a blood test for heart attacks; now we have a blood test that can detect heart attacks whether you have symptoms or problems,” she said.

It could be a medical breakthrough using blood to understand the brain.

“You’ve only got one and you need to take good care of it because you need it to last as long as possible,” she said.

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