Clin J Sport Med. 2022 Nov 1;32(6):623-626. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000001056. Epub 2022 Jul 6.
OBJECTIVE: Visinin-like protein 1 (VILIP-1) is a neuron-specific calcium sensor protein rapidly released into blood after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and may be a suitable biomarker for identification of sports-related concussion (SRC). The objective of the study is to test if quantification of a specific post-translationally modified (ubiquitinated) form of VILIP-1 (ubVILIP-1) from a fingerstick blood sample using a point of care (POC) lateral flow device (LFD) can be used to rapidly identify athletes with SRC.
DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.
SETTING: Side-line blood collection at football, soccer, and volleyball games/practices.
PARTICIPANTS: Division I athletes with/without SRC.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Blood ubVILIP-1 concentrations.
RESULTS: Data collected over 2 athletic seasons from non-SRC athletes (controls) show a small but statistically significant elevation of ubVILIP-1 over an individual season for male athletes (P = 0.02) dependent on sport (P = 0.014) and no significant changes in ubVILIP-1 levels between seasons. For SRC athletes, the data show ubVILIP-1 levels substantially increase above baseline as soon as 30 minutes postdiagnosis with peak concentrations and times postinjury that vary based on injury severity.
CONCLUSION: Results of the study suggest quantification of blood ubVILIP-1 levels measured using an LFD may provide an objective identification of athletes with SRC, setting the stage for further study with a larger number of SRC patients.