According to a recent study, a brain protein 'tau' plays a significant role for athletes and their readiness to return to the game after a brain injury recovery period.
Researchers have found that elevated levels of the brain protein tau following a concussion are associated with a longer recovery period and delayed return to play for athletes.
The new study may help authorities to confirm when an athelete is ready to resume play. There are 3.8 million sports-related concussions that occur in the US annually, but still there was no method to determine when an athlete is ready to play again.
Returning to play too early, before the brain has healed, increases an athlete’s risk of long-term physical and cognitive problems, especially if he or she sustains another injury.
Presently, making a decision to return to game is based on athlete’s subjective, self-reported symptoms and performance on standardised tests of memory and attention .
Tau, which plays a role in the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was measured in preseason blood samples and again within six hours following concussion using an ultra-sensitive technology that allows researchers to detect single protein molecules.
The study was published in the journal Neurology.
With inputs from PTI