traumatic brain injury detection neurofilament light (NfL)

Can a Little Wiggly Piece of Protein (Neurofilament Light)
Detect Traumatic Brain Damage that Won’t Appear for Years?


Unfortunately, brain damage from trauma occurs all too frequently.

Typically, the hospital emergency room doctors are looking at brain trauma from a triage perspective.  A scan or imaging of the brain typically is used only rules out immediate surgery.

Traumatic brain injuries happen every day from car crashes, sports injuries, falls and violent crimes. These injuries vary greatly in severity and can be difficult to catch in the emergency department of a hospital.

Missed signs of brain injuries can be dangerous because not only can the injuries affect cognitive and motor functions but the damage can worsen over time.

Researchers Dr. Neil Graham and Dr. David Sharp  may have found a way to better access brain injuries using proteins or biomarkers carried in a person’s blood.

They have tracked a protein called neurofilament light (NfL) that seems to have a correlation with an injury’s severity level.

According to their recently published research, NfL levels in a person’s blood will rise after a brain injury and are a non-invasive way of measuring or determining a traumatic brain injury.

traumatic brain injury detection neurofilament light

Traumatic brain injuries can leave victims with life altering conditions and many times, it is the injured victim’s loved ones who are forced to provide care while dealing with sometimes dramatic changes in their injured loved one’s personality.

You do not have to handle your injuries alone while also trying to fight with an insurance company that is out to save a buck.

The law in North Carolina requires fair compensation for many types of damages, including but not limited to economic losses such as past AND future medical bills as well as lost wages.

NC law also requires fair compensation for non-economic damages such as permanent injury, scars, disfigurement and pain and suffering.

At Fisher Stark, our experienced trial lawyers can advise and represent you on your traumatic brain injury case and help you or a loved on navigate the often-complex world of brain injury treatment and claims.

If you or someone you know suffered a serious head injury and you live in Buncombe County or in the Western North Carolina area, we invite you to call some of Asheville’s most experienced personal injury attorneys at 828-505-4300 today for a free consultation.

Biomarkers may be a first step towards being able to diagnosis head injuries and their recoveries. The biomarkers let doctors focus on pathology rather than symptoms. When it comes to head injuries the symptoms can vary and may not show up immediately.

Higher levels of NfL in the body are believed to be an indicator that something is amiss in the nervous system and have been linked to damaging diseases such as dementia and multiple sclerosis.

traumatic brain injury detection neurofilament light in blood

NfL levels in spinal fluid are sometimes the only clinical gauge of how active the disease is — and how severe it may become.

Graham and Sharp’s studies also showed that a person’s peak NfL levels in the first few weeks after injury correlated most closely with whether they recovered favorably six or 12 months later.

People with higher levels tended to fare worse. NfL predicted this better than any other biomarker.

Head injuries are often thought of as a single traumatic event, however, it’s an ongoing process, and this new discovery can help establish the existence of the brain injury if used by medical professionals.

Drs. Graham and Sharp say that they were impressed with NfL’s potential and are eager to put it into clinical practice. In the future doctors hope that NfL levels can help make treatment decisions based on diagnostic evidence as they would in most other areas of medicine.


Asheville Brain Injury Lawyers - Fisher Stark P.A.

Asheville Brain Injury Lawyers

If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, take the first steps to ensure that you receive the care you need, and contact a personal injury lawyer who can guide you to the specialists and treatment you need and who can make sure that the right person pays for that treatment.

At Fisher Stark, we have experience with traumatic brain injuries and are eager to see our clients properly diagnosed and set on the best path to recovery or compensation.

If you have been diagnosed with or suspect that you or a loved one has experienced a serious head injury we invite you to call us at 1-828-505-4300 to see how we can be of help. Or click here for directions.