January 24, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Researchers develop new methods for diagnosing TBI
Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most devastating injuries that can be suffered in a car crash or other accident. Even a minor brain injury can cause severe pain and short-term sensory and cognitive difficulties.
More serious brain injuries can have life-long consequences. Many TBI victims experience severe and persistent headaches. Cognitive problems are also common, including slowed thinking, forgetfulness and trouble with decision making. In addition, many TBI victims experience changes in personality and mood, like increased irritability, depression or socially inappropriate behavior.
Focus is on Damaged Connections
A traumatic brain injury damages the brain in two different ways. First, the trauma that occurs when the head strikes a hard object - or, in a whiplash-type accident, when the brain strikes the inside of the skull - can cause bleeding, bruising and brain tissue damage. Second, because the brain is soft, it can keep moving inside the skull after the initial impact of the head injury is over. (Imagine a Jell-O mold.) All that movement can cause microscopic tears that damage the electrical connections inside the brain.
This second type of injury is particularly troubling because it is so hard to detect. While traditional brain scans can reveal bleeding and tissue damage, these "wiring" injuries are mostly invisible. TBIs are always hard to treat, but they are even more so when the damage cannot be quantified.
Researchers have long been working on developing new ways to diagnose and treat traumatic brain injury. Recently, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh developed a new brain scan that can detect broken connections within the brain. They call it "high-definition fiber tracking."
Basically, the brain's communication system works a lot like a cable or telephone network. The brain's white matter is infused with a network of fiber tracts that pass information between millions of connection points. High-definition fiber tracking uses powerful MRIs to map and color-code these networks. Doctors can then review the resulting images to identify breaks in the fibers.
The scan was detailed in a study recently published in the <a target="_blank" href="http://thejns.org/doi/abs/10.3171/2012.1.JNS111282]Journal of Neurosurgery[/url]. Researchers hope it will open up new possibilities for brain injury diagnosis and treatment and that it will give TBI victims a better chance at reclaiming a normal life.
Protecting the Rights of Brain Injury Victims
TBI victims have the best chance of recovering if they receive prompt and thorough medical treatment. Unfortunately, brain injury patients sometimes find this treatment to be cost-prohibitive. When a traumatic brain injury was caused by another person's negligence, the victim has a right to seek financial compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. In addition to other damages, these lawsuits can provide injured victims with the money they need to pay for past and future medical care.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, a personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and help you understand your options.
Article provided by Robert J. Albair, P.C.
Visit us at http://www.robertalbairlaw.com/---
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