New FDA-approved blood test is a big step toward detecting concussions; 14 percent of Cambridge youth athletes experience concussion; Lessons from mother of athlete who suffered serious concussion

The New York Times | Sheila Kaplan: A new blood test approved by the Food and Drug Administration is a large step towards reducing the number of people exposed to radiation through CT scans and expediting concussion diagnosis on the sidelines. There were approximately 3 million visits to emergency rooms last year for concussion-like symptoms. Most of these patients were evaluated with a CT scan. The Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator blood test hopes to rule out who should and who should not get a CT scan after a head injury. Regardless of how long ago the incident occurred, this blood test, already in use at the U.S. Army’s Combat Casualty Care Research Program, assesses chemical levels in the brain from the past 12 hours. With plans for this test to be approved for use on children, this could soon become the way youth athletes are cared for on every sideline.

Wicked Local | Jackie Contreras, Matt Dresens and Aleah Floyd: Last year, 14 percent of Cambridge students in grades sixth through eighth reported experiencing concussion-like symptoms, according to a recent study conducted by the Cambridge Public Health Department. However, awareness backed by science is changing the way young athletes are cared for by parents and trainers. With more kids self-reporting their injuries, parents feel safer knowing that “if they do get hit…now you can err on the side of caution, whereas when we were young, the awareness wasn’t there.”

WRAL | Monica Laliberte: Tired of feeling helpless in her teen daughter’s recovery, Diane Penner started a conversation with her child’s coach to learn the best ways to handle concussions, even if it means pulling her kid out of the game.