Study Suggests Progress in Diagnosis of Invisible Brain Injuries
Personal injury attorneys who represent clients with head injuries must
strive to ensure that the client's symptoms are fully identified and
documented in consultation with top neurological experts and other medical
professionals. The effects of a
closed head injury on an individual are not always immediately apparent. The best source
of information is often not the client, but rather those who knew the
client before and after the accident. These individuals can help identify
cognitive, emotional, and behavioral changes in an injury victim.
The medical community and the public at large are becoming increasingly
aware that even relatively "minor" effects of a concussion or
mild traumatic brain injury can have a serious impact on a person's
life and career. Furthermore, though it was once believed that the effects
of a closed head injury would be resolved in a few months, current studies
document that in a small percentage of cases, the symptoms can last for
years or even lifetimes for some victims.
New Study Shows Evidence of TBI Due to Head Acceleration
A study published in an past issue of
Science Translational Medicine examined the physical evidence of head injuries suffered by U.S. military
personnel from violent blasts. Its conclusions could be helpful for neurologists
seeking to better understand everything from sports-related concussions
to brain injuries caused by
car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and even construction accidents.
The authors noted that exposure to blasts can lead to
traumatic brain injury, long-term cognitive deficits, and a range of neuropsychiatric symptoms.
By examining the brains of mice previously exposed to a simulated blast,
the study showed evidence of a neurodegenerative disease that is common
for patients who suffered concussions.
Notably, the research showed that head immobilization during blast exposure
actually prevented the occurrence of learning deficits and memory loss
in the mice. The natural inference is that it is not the shock wave itself
that causes harm to soldiers' brains, but rather the rapid head acceleration
caused by blast wind.
As brain injury science has long understood, the whiplash forces exerted
in a vehicle accident or a devastating NFL tackle can cause serious concussions—despite
the lack of any actual blow to the skull. Building on these ideas, scientists
are beginning to build a clearer picture of the devastation that a brain
injury can cause.