When a person suffers an injury, the body has a remarkable ability to heal itself. For most people, a scratch on the knee or a bruise from knocking into a chair will completely heal in a few days or weeks. However, if a person suffers a blow to the head, they might not have such a speedy recovery. Brain injuries can be devastating, and medical professionals still have much to learn on the brains ability to recover from damaging injuries.
New research has measured cerebral glucose metabolism levels in the brain after injuries. They found that the level of glucose metabolism was decreased after an injury but improved over time. Researchers are hoping this will serve as an indicator of how long a person remains vulnerable to further damage to their brain after an initial injury.
People who have suffered two or more brain injuries might have an increased vulnerability to repeat injuries. Repeat injuries can further damage the brain, which has difficulty regenerating cells. Many times brain damage is permanent and can cause other debilitating chronic health problems.
In the news, football players have been in the spotlight for brain injuries, and many veterans returning from wars have suffered severe brain injuries. While these might seem like situations most people will never face, 3.5 million people still suffer head injuries each year that can be devastating for many of them. These people should seek the best medical help they can find in order to help recover from current injuries and help prevent future injuries.
Source: UPI, "Brain metabolic rate may gauge injury risk," Jan. 27, 2013
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