AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 4, 2017

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Molecules in Spit May Be Able to Diagnose and Predict Length of Concussions

Diagnosing a concussion can sometimes be a guessing game, but clues taken from small molecules in saliva may be able to help diagnose and predict the duration of concussions in children, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine.

Researchers measured the levels of microRNAs — tiny snippets of noncoding RNA — in the saliva of concussion patients. They found that the presence of certain microRNAs in saliva was able to better identify concussions and more accurately predict the length of concussion symptoms than relying solely on patient surveys.

Dr. Steven Hicks, an assistant professor of pediatrics, said the findings could result in a more fact-based way to diagnose and treat concussion patients.

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