Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Non-invasive early diagnosis of traumatic brain injury

Millions of people every year suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI), often resulting in permanent and severe disability or even death. Portable and non-invasive ultrasound technology will enable early diagnosis and improve prognosis.
Non-invasive early diagnosis of traumatic brain injury
TBI, also known as intracranial injury, is a loss in brain function resulting from a blow or jolt to the head or an object penetrating it. Changes in absolute intracranial pressure (aICP) affect cerebral blood supply, making it useful in diagnosis and prediction of prognosis in patients with head injury. Such measurements were previously only possible through complex invasive techniques associated with risks of infection, bleeding, leak of fluids, pain and more. Furthermore, only 20 % of TBI patients actually had access to such diagnostics.

The EU-funded project BRAINSAFE has levelled the playing field for TBI patients with a hand-held, easy-to-use, non-invasive aICP meter. The device exploits Doppler ultrasound technology to measure blood flow parameters at two different depths in the ophthalmic artery via a disposable pressure cuff and head frame. This simple non-invasive device replaces a difficult and invasive procedure for assessing head injuries in hospital and ambulance settings.

Commercialisation of the BRAINSAFE diagnostic system will save thousands of lives and significantly reduce the incidences of long-term disabilities associated with TBI. Reduced health care costs in both the short- and long-term will have important impact on patients and the EU economy. Most importantly, rapid diagnosis will improve quality of life for millions of sufferers and their family members.

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