Saliva sheds light on concussion severity

Updated: May. 11, 2017 at 6:45 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The headaches, fatigue and upset stomach are all terrible side effects of concussions. Waiting for the pain to go away can be agonizing, but now a simple spit test is bringing relief to patients.

Doctors are using a new experimental test to find out how long concussion symptoms last by swabbing saliva. The test measures genetic material in saliva, called Micro RNAs, that are released by brain cells after a head injury.

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Researchers say this method is 90 percent accurate in determining which kids will have symptoms for a month or longer. 
That's better than most current concussion tests which are correct less than 70 percent of the time.

WATCH: Lauren Jones' report here

Doctors say if the test works determining the severity of a concussion it could be as easy as testing a saliva sample, then getting the results the next day.

A WAVE 3 News exclusive investigation into the safety of student-athletes when it comes to concussions led to new protocol in Jefferson County Public Schools.

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