College of Health and Human Services


Brain Biomarkers Research Lab

Project 2: Biomarkers for concussions and mild TBI


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major health problem among young adults ages 15 to 24 years.  Sports and recreational activities contribute to approximately 21% of all cases of mild TBI. Recent data suggests more than 62 000 cases per year occur in contact sports in high school (i.e. ages 14 to 18 years). Thirty four percent of U.S. college football players have experienced at least one concussion and 20% have experienced multiple concussions. Many of these traumas still remain undetected, as they are difficult to diagnose.

Sports-related concussion offers an important research opportunity to investigate the utility of early biomarkers for mild TBI because the time of head injury is known and blood samples can be drawn within 24 hours. Neurodegradomic approach utilized by Dr. Dambinova’ team is demonstrating how, when, and which specific neurotoxicity biomarkers are released from the CNS into peripheral fluids in response to concussions and mild injury. The biomarkers clinical validation is underway in collaboration with Penn State University (Dr. Bettermann) and Pitt University (Dr. Maroon)


Concussions & Mild TBI Consequences






Dambinova, S.A., Izykenova, G.A., Burov, S.V., Grigorenko, E.V., and Gromov, S.A. The presence of autoantibodies to N-terminus domain of GluR1 subunit of AMPA receptor in the blood serum of patients with epilepsy. J.Neurol. Sci. 152: 93-97, 1997


Dambinova, S.A., and Gromova, L.G.  Autoantibodies against human brain AMPA/quisqualate receptor capable of determining persons with brain paroxysmal activity and epilepsy. In: “Neurochemistry”, eds. A.Teelken and J.Korf. New York: Plenum. 1997: 265-74


Dambinova, S.A., and Izykenova, G.A. Autoantibodies to subtypes of glutamate receptors as a hallmarks of brain  damage: diagnostic significance for paroxysmal activity and ischemia.  Zh.Vyssh.Nervn.Deyat. im. I.P.Pavlova  47: 439-446, 1997


Dambinova, S.A., and Izykenova, G.A. Recombinant m-d receptor as a marker of opiate abuse [Review] Ann. N.Y. Acad.Sci. 965:497-514, 2002


Dambinova, S.A., and Arutjunian, A.V. Advanced Functional Neurochemistry. St.Petersburg, Russia: St.Petersburg’s University. 2003: 400 p.


Dambinova, S.A. Diagnostic challenges in Traumatic Brain Injury. Blood assay development. IVD Technology, 3:15-17, 2007


Dambinova, S.A., Hayes, R., Wang K. Biomarkers for TBI. Textbook. Royal Soc.Chemistry Publ House, London, UK. In print for July, 2012