January 04, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Traumatic brain injuries are alarmingly common in the U.S. Indeed, each year, thousands of people suffer significant brain injuries
, which can often lead to long term complications. Although these injuries are common, experts still have a difficult time diagnosing some brain injuries definitively. This is particularly true for closed head injuries, where a patient's complaints of headaches or slight dizziness may indicate serious damage. Fortunately, studies indicate that a simple blood test may be able to help physicians to accurately diagnose and better treat traumatic brain injuries.
Recently, researchers identified a particular protein, known as SNTF, that is present in patients who have suffered serious brain injuries that they may be able to use as a diagnostic marker. SNTF is produced when neurons in a person's brain begin degenerating and is generated even when a brain injury is not identifiable using advanced scanning techniques.
Physicians have long been able to detect SNTF in patients that have suffered serious brain trauma, including strokes. The problem, however, was determining whether detecting the protein at lower levels can help doctors distinguish those who have suffered a minor concussion from those who have suffered much more serious injuries likely to require a much longer time to heal.
In a study published recently in the journal Frontiers in Neurology, researchers examined a group of patients that had gone to emergency rooms due to head and brain trauma. They discovered that patients who exhibited SNTF levels twice that of threshold detection levels in the time immediately after injury were more likely to have suffered damage to their white matter. These individuals typically experienced difficulties with basic cognition three months after their initial injuries.
The group involved in this study was very small and researchers hope to test their findings soon on a larger population. This large scale testing will be key to determining whether SNTF measurements can prove useful as a diagnostic aid for doctors. While tests on a larger population may take time, researchers are hopeful that their work will help those with traumatic brain injuries to receive treatment more quickly.
If you or someone in your family has suffered a brain injury at work or in an accident, think about speaking to a personal injury attorney. An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide you with information about your legal options and help you determine your next steps. Contact an attorney today for more information.
Article provided by Dallas W. Hartman P.C.
Visit us at www.dallashartman.com