Review – Brain damage due to head trauma or stroke is nowadays a serious clinical and social problem. The great progress in diagnostic procedures (neuroimaging) has no counterpart either in therapy or in early and accurate prognosis. Biochemical markers are a new strategy in the diagnosis, treatment monitoring, and prognosis estimation in brain damaged patients. At present two specific, brain-originated proteins play a major role: S100B protein and neuron-specific enolase (NSE). S100B is a marker of astrocytes, while NSE has been found in neuronal cytoplasm. These proteins are released into the blood (and also to the cerebrospinal fluid) during brain damage. Several authors investigated usefulness of neurobiochemical markers in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with head trauma, stroke, or after cardiac surgery. Research .findings suggest a good correlation between the release of neurobiochemical markers and the patient s clinical status of' CT image. Particularly important seems a high predictive value of the markers as regards the long-term functional status of patients after head trauma or stroke.
Conclusions – Usefulness of neurobiochemical markers in the treatment monitoring, especially post-stroke, is still unclear. To investigate this problem further studies are needed. It is already known that S100B protein release following brain damage may be involved both in brain repair processes and in secondary damage of neurons. Serum S100B protein and NSE analysis during the first past-stroke days may also help to predict neurobehavioral outcome.