Fluid and steroid hormone biomarkers

pipette and bottlesFluid biomarkers are substances we can measure in body fluids to gain some insight into a medical condition. The fluids are most commonly blood, saliva and urine due to the ease of obtaining these samples and there is increasing interest in saliva in particular due to the ease of ‘spitting into a pot’, allowing patients to collect samples themselves, in any situation, including at home, pitch side or on military operations.

There are a wide array of tests that can be performed, most commonly we use lab techniques to measure proteins released when brain cells are damaged – such as after a head injury – several of these proteins have been studied over the last 2 decades and are on the cusp of being introduced into clinical practice where they will help to inform patient care. 

As well as looking at more traditional techniques the mTBI fluid biomarker team will be using new technology to look at RNA markers – these little snippets of genetic code change following injuries and can provide a wealth of information. Furthermore, hormone changes are known to be important following TBI and in mental health and headache conditions. New markers specific to headache will also allow us to gain understanding of individual symptoms affecting patients with mTBI. 

We aim to utilise an array of fluid biomarkers and cutting-edge techniques to help predict outcome following mTBI allowing us treat patients in a rapid and precise fashion. 

Lead Researchers 

Lieutenant Colonel James Mitchell – Consultant Neurology and Rehabilitation, Stanford Hall

Academic Clinical Lecturer Neurology, University of Birmingham

Major James Mitchell