Technology

Researchers propose 'Breathalyzer' concussion test

Nov. 25, 2001: Miami Dolphins' Oronde Gadsden, right, hauls in a pass under pressure from Buffalo Bills' Nate Clements during the second half of an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y. Gadsden is one of nearly two dozen former NFL players that are suing the league over severe and permanent brain damage they say is linked to concussions suffered on the job. (AP)

Nov. 25, 2001: Miami Dolphins' Oronde Gadsden, right, hauls in a pass under pressure from Buffalo Bills' Nate Clements during the second half of an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y. Gadsden is one of nearly two dozen former NFL players that are suing the league over severe and permanent brain damage they say is linked to concussions suffered on the job. (AP)  (2001 AP)

British researchers recently unveiled a proposal for a Breathalyzer test they say may lead to quicker concussion detection in athletes.

Scientists are currently testing to see if a chemical that is released into the blood stream when the brain is injured is also found in an injured athlete’s breath, the BBC reported.

“These biochemical compounds from the brain can be measured in a number of different fluids, for example saliva and breath,” said Tony Belli, a medical researcher and professor at the University of Birmingham.

Scientists say that if technology can be perfected, a concussion can potentially be diagnosed within five to 10 minutes of injury.

“At the moment a Breathalyzer is tuned to detect alcohol – but you can reengineer it to detect other things. And you need to refine the technology at the same time, to detect very small amounts,” Belli told the BBC.  

The proposal was unveiled at the British Science Festival, and researchers say more testing and research must be done.

Click for more from the BBC.