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Quanterix’ Simoa Technology Reveals Link Between Soccer Headers And Concussions For The First Time

New research marks the latest example of neurofilament light chain (NfL) as a critical biomarker for detecting brain injuries

Lexington, Mass. – Quanterix Corporation, a company digitizing biomarker analysis with the goal of advancing the science of precision health, today announced researchers have successfully applied its Simoa technology to reveal a correlation between heading a soccer ball and an increase in protein biomarkers known to be indicative of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The study, published in BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, suggests brain injury may be occurring even in athletic activities previously thought to be relatively safe.  

“We’ve long suspected that repeatedly heading  a soccer ball could have similar effects to those already demonstrated by repeated subconcussive blows in American football, namely the elevation of biomarkers indicative of brain injury,” said Kevin Hrusovsky, Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman of Quanterix. “This research adds to the growing body of evidence that the neurofilament light chain biomarker has promise as an objective indicator of brain damage and could play a role in improving player safety in the future.”

The study, led by Dr. Henrik Zetterberg, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, examined eleven male college soccer players who were asked to perform a series of headers. Researchers found elevated levels of the NfL protein one hour and one month following the headers. The total symptoms and their severity were also elevated following the headers, indicating that headings in soccer are associated with increases in NfL concentrations, and can lead to symptoms commonly reported following a sport-related concussion.

Soccer, widely considered to be the world’s most popular sport today, continues to witness tremendous growth globally and its popularity is only expected to rise. According to a 2018 World Football Report from Nielsen, more than 40 percent of the world’s population reports being interested in soccer, putting it well ahead of rival sports.

“This study also serves to reinforce the potential of NfL as a critical biomarker for advancing the early detection, treatment and prevention of neurological diseases, as previously demonstrated by a number of peer-reviewed publications. Quanterix has been at the forefront of enabling this research and is privileged to play a part in expanding the possibilities of this biomarker to disrupt healthcare,” continued Hrusovsky.

To learn more about Quanterix’ research, please click here.

About Quanterix

Quanterix is a company that’s digitizing biomarker analysis with the goal of advancing the science of precision health. The company’s digital health solution, Simoa, has the potential to change the way in which healthcare is provided today by giving researchers the ability to closely examine the continuum from health to disease. Quanterix’ technology is designed to enable much earlier disease detection, better prognoses and enhanced treatment methods to improve the quality of life and longevity of the population for generations to come. The technology is currently being used for research applications in several therapeutic areas, including oncology, neurology, cardiology, inflammation and infectious disease. The company was established in 2007 and is located in Lexington, Massachusetts. For additional Information, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend” and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this news release are based on Quanterix’s expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release. Each of these forward-looking statements involves risks and uncertainties. Factors that may cause Quanterix’ actual results to differ from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements in this press release are discussed in Quanterix’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the “Risk Factors” sections contained therein. Except as required by law, Quanterix assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in expectations, even as new information becomes available.


Lindsay Poole
PAN Communications