Upstate Medical University

CNY Company Uses Saliva Test to Help Diagnose Concussion in Only 6 to 8 Hours

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury some have experienced and for those who have, or know someone who has, the process of getting it diagnosed could take weeks maybe even months but now, it could take you only 6 to 8 hours.

Quadrant Biosciences in Syracuse is a company whose goal is on improving the lives of children and families by delivering innovative diagnostic, therapeutic, and virtual care solutions for global health priorities.

The company had produced the saliva-based COVID-19 test, during the pandemic and now with similar science has developed a new test, that can help diagnose a concussion in only hours.

A patent for a saliva test used to analyze and predict the occurrence of mild traumatic brain injury and concussion symptoms that was developed through research at Upstate Medical University and Penn State College of Medicine has been awarded to Quadrant Biosciences, SUNY Research Foundation, and Penn State College of Medicine.

The test measures RNA, which plays an important role in cellular processes and exists in high amounts in the brain, found in the saliva to determine if a concussion happened and it will only take the lab 6 to 8 hours to send you back your results.

Concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries occur as a result of physical injury to the head and may result in short-lived symptoms including headaches, dizziness and confusion, and a surplus of other symptoms.

You simply swap inside both sides of your cheek for 15 seconds each, close the tube, and send it over to the lab. As of now, the test is designed for people as young as age 10, but it will be easy enough that anyone be it a coach, a parent, or a student-athlete can administer it.

“We’re actually collaborating with a lot of local institutions to gather research data. So, they’ll be our first priority when we roll out this test later in 2023,” said, CO-CEO, Ben Perry.

Scientists have been working on this saliva test since 2015. The idea came from the foundation of Quadrant Biosciences Rich Uhlig after his son had sustained a serious concussion. He then discovered that there needed to be a better and more exact way to help diagnose a concussion.

One of the scientists helping to put this test out later in 2023, Dr. Forrest Wright said, “It’s really exciting and thrilling for us the opportunity to take a swap that was taken on the field or during a game, bring it in-house here and get an answer out at the end of our workday or the next day when in comparison kids and parents have been stressed out worrying about an answer in long-term results for days or weeks depending on who you’re providers.”

Perry shared that one of the company's main goals is to help student-athletes and get the test out to schools, athletic directors, and other organizations that can use this testing.

Perry said, “We’re very excited to be rolling this out to upstate New York but our ultimate goal is to try to get this to be a nationwide test. So right now, we’re identifying strategic partners to help scale this testing.”

Quadrant labs aren't the first company to come up with this idea. Other labs have also established this sort of testing and the results were incredible with accuracy rates of 96 percent. As of now, the Quadrant Biosciences test is still under development but has a patent. The initial research shows up to 93 percent accuracy. When learning of the news, other experts who diagnose and treat people with concussions called this a game changer.

Physical therapist, Meredith Bossinger said, “If that's something we can administer as a physical therapist, as athletic trainers on the sideline it would open up a whole new ball game. I think it would be a lot safer for our student-athletes and our population in general.” She added, “When we have a concussion right now it's subjective so, what patients are telling us. That can range from people trying to embellish those symptoms versus people who are saying they have no symptoms to get back.”

Perry said it’s surreal that the test is coming out in 2023 and is hoping that it will help thousands.

Perry said, “I’ll believe it when I see it but it feels amazing to be able to offer this product to our community.”