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January 2018

Promise of Salivary MicroRNA for Assessing Concussion

Author Affiliations
  • 1Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, Division of Sports Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Brain Injury Center, Division of Emergency Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(1):14-15. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.3924

Despite the marked increase in clinical and basic scientific investigation into concussive brain injury in recent years,1 the diagnosis and assessment of a concussion remains largely based on the reporting of symptoms.2 The symptoms of a concussion are nonspecific and can be caused by many etiologies. The biological basis of concussion symptoms has not been well-characterized and concussion symptoms do not always correlate with more objective measures of injury, such as neurocognitive testing. It therefore remains unclear whether persistent symptoms represent the continuation of concussion pathophysiology, are due to other contributing etiologies, or are the result of concussion management strategies that involve restricting activity.3 However, most children demonstrate persistent symptoms of a concussion 1 month after their injury.4,5 Given this large disease burden, objective measures of injury would be highly useful for making the diagnosis of a concussion, monitoring recovery, and identifying those at risk for prolonged symptoms after an injury.

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