Breath test to help diagnose concussion could stop injured players carrying on

A diagram of the forces on the brain in concussion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A diagram of the forces on the brain in concussion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A breakthrough in technology could see breathalysers being used at football and rugby matches to stop sportsmen and women from playing on with head injuries.

Scientists at the University of Birmingham claim to have developed a quick breath test that can detect signs of concussion.

Until now, it requires players to have a full medical assessment or brain scan to accurately assess whether someone had concussion.

But Dr Michael Grey and Professor Tony Belli, from the University of Birmingham, are developing a breath test which they hope will vastly reduce the number of severe head injuries.

Their discovery has been shown to work in the laboratory and is to undergo wider tests on athletes. Dr Grey said: ‘It is really important that we protect players from themselves.

‘We are talking about someone with mild brain injury when we are looking at concussion. They are not in a position to decide whether they are fit to play.’

The scientists have discovered three chemicals which are released into the bloodstream when the brain receives an injury. The molecules make their way into the lungs and a trace can be detected in the breath.

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