Tanya Agrawal, left, a biotech exchange student from India works with Cristina Pinar (middle), a Ph.D. student, and Dr. Brian Christie, in studying multiple concussions on the brains of juvenile rats. UVic photo

Boys show concussion symptoms faster than girls

Researcher hopes to create concussion blood test

Groundbreaking research into mild concussions by University of Victoria neuroscientist Brian Christie has determined that boys are far likelier to show some concussion symptoms for shorter periods than girls.

Males may show symptoms early on, but they tend to recover faster than fenales.

See: Vision proves key to concussion recovery

Christie pulled these findings from a study he led with a team of UVic grad and undergraduates in developing a controlled test called the Awake Closed Head Injury test. It studied the effects of mild impacts on juvenile rats which the animals can recover from. The results could lead to further breakthroughs, and help to develop much needed blood or saliva tests that could diagnose concussions when they happen, Christie said.

To date, a lot of sideline testing or, post incident testing for concussions is based on subjective observations, he said adding the potential development of a blood or saliva test would be a massive leap forward in managing concussions.

“One of the problems with testing concussions is getting a controlled sample, and conducting them humanely on living specimens,” Christie said.

Typically, humans are off limits. Even if someone offered their brain tissue for a biopsy, there is no knowing how many impacts there were, or how hard the impacts were, that caused the concussions.

The crux of Christie’s newest paper is that “males tend to show acute symptoms right away, but they also seem to recover fairly quickly,” said Christie, who works in UVic’s division of medical sciences. “Conversely, females don’t show as significant behavioural symptoms in the acute phase, but they do a few days later. This suggests a slower, more progressive nature to their injury.”

Adolescents are most at risk for concussions, with bicycle crashes listed as the leading cause of youth concussions in B.C.

However, concussions, and mild concussions, are also a notable issue in organized youth sports. Even with the knowledge of their danger, kids and their parents are often unsure and send the children back into the games, said Christie, who has educated parents and children of youth hockey on concussions.

The most quantitative way to measure this invisible injury is to create a blood that measures some type of biomarkers, Christie said. Ideally, there are certain molecules or proteins in the brain which don’t normally pass through the blood-brain barrier very readily, but do pass through in the case of a concussion.

Christie’s peer-reviewed paper is available in the open-access journal PLOS One.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Videos show allegedly intoxicated teens forcibly removed from Luxton Fairgrounds

Posts about altercations with security personnel in Langford swarming social media

Saanich mayor begins living roof planting process

A garden will top Mayor Fred Haynes’ new home on Prospect Lake

Lambrick Park School invites past kings and queens to 25th Mount Douglas race

Alumni, students, staff invited to school’s yearly King and Queen of the Hill race

Attendance matters for Saanich Peninsula students

Achievement depends on attendance, hundreds of students heard

Showers, risk of thunderstorms for Tuesday

Plus a look ahead at your week

WATCH: United Way #Drive4Five event launches campaign to raise $5 million

More than 80,000 lives changed last year by the United Way

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Largest driving factor is the province’s complex stumpage system that results in high fees, expert says

20 day search for missing Labradoodle in Princeton, B.C. ends with tears of joy

The search brought out bloodhounds, and groups hoping to find Mordy

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Most Read