Methods for detecting a cell damage relate to the discovery that proteases
are selectively activated in subjects suffering from nervous system
damage compared to samples from healthy subjects. Breakdown products
reflecting activation of proteases that degrade spectrin are produced. A
cell injury is detected by providing a biological sample derived from the
subject; detecting in the sample the presence of these breakdown products
generated by multiple proteases, and correlating the presence of these
breakdown products with the presence or type of cell damage.