SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — For as long as sports, especially high-impact sports, have existed, so have concussions. However what continues to change are the way they are measured, and how recovery is handled.
Ben Perry, Co-CEO of Quadrant Laboratories explained how they are taking the next step toward the goal of more effective concussion testing.
“Throughout our research, we discovered that there are molecules in the brain that are released during a head injury that can also be found in the saliva,” he explained.
“So, what we did is we developed a test that will detect those molecules and tell somebody not only whether or not they were concussed, but also help predict recovery time from that concussion.”
The idea was born when the company’s founder Rich Uhlig’s son sustained a concussion while playing hockey.
“He quickly realized that there wasn’t really an objective test for concussion,” Perry said, “A lot of it was based on symptoms and waiting to see how a patient would progress.”
That then led the scientists at Quadrant Laboratories to look for a better way, which is exactly what they did.
“This is an opportunity to give a point of care test and give a real number,” Forrest Wright, Director of Assay Development said, “Then something we can test longitudinally so we can see that number change over time.”
The test itself is prescription based. Patients would be able to obtain a test through their physician or pediatrician to be sent to their office or to the patient’s home.
Everything needed to take the test comes in the box.
Instructions, two saliva swabs, and a container to safely ship the sample back to the laboratory. The swabs are the same or similar to the same swabs used for most saliva-based COVID tests.
“Our focus is youth athletics because for us, that population is the most vulnerable and they can’t protect themselves. So that’s what we’re focused on solving first,” Perry said.
“At the end of the day,” Perry added, “A concussion is a brain injury and simply treating it by only looking at symptoms and hoping that a patient recovered isn’t enough for our kids.”
Quadrant Laboratories is currently finishing its pediatric focus groups and anticipates the tests will be available in New York State sometime in late 2023.