The evaluation of concussed athletes, including testing to determine if and when they may return to play, has become an important task of athletic trainers and team physicians. Currently, concussion protocols are in place, which depend largely upon assessments based upon neurocognitive testing (NCT). The authors have evaluated the use of a biomarker of brain trauma, marinobufagenin (MBG), and compared its application in concussed athletes with the performance of NTC. We found a disparity between these two testing procedures. In this communication, the findings of these comparative data are presented. We noted that athletes whose NCT evaluations had returned to baseline and who were allowed to again participate in play then showed a recurrence of elevated urinary MBG excretion. These observations raise concern as to the processes currently in effect with regard to the decision as to returning athletes to the full activity. They suggest a need for further evaluation.
Keywords: athletic brain trauma; bufodienolides; concussion; marinobufagenin; neurocognitive testing.