New Discovery May Help Memory in Traumatic Brain Injury
I’m Ed Smith, a Santa Barbara brain injury lawyer. Traumatic brain Injuries due to accidents such as car accidents or falls can have a significant effect on the person’s life, ranging from temporary confusion to death. Unlike many other injuries, brain injury has a profound effect on the whole person, causing long-term or permanent loss of cognitive function. This interferes in the person’s job, relationships and the ability to enjoy life.
Helping Patients Regain Memory
A new discovery has been announced that focuses on regaining memory after a traumatic brain injury. The drug, as yet used only on mice, is called ISRIB. When it was used on mice, even as long as a month after injury, it allowed the mice to learn and remember once again. After being injected with ISRIB, the mice were able to find their way around a maze as well as non-injured mice. While investigations still need to be done, the drug offers a promise of an effective treatment in the future.
What Is Brain Injury?
Brain injuries can be divided into two main categories: Traumatic and acquired. Traumatic brain injury results from an external force on the head causing brain dysfunction. It can be caused by hitting the head in a car accident or striking one’s head on the ground. Acquired brain injuries are those that do not have a precipitating external force but rather an injury that occurs after birth such as a total lack of oxygen or a deficiency in the amount of oxygen. Other causes such as neurotoxicity and tumor formation may be considered acquired brain injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.8 million people were affected by traumatic brain injury in the United States in 2013. Of these, 2.5 million individuals were seen in emergency rooms nationwide and diagnosed with TBI, 282,000 were hospitalized and 56,000 people died.
Falls are the leading cause of TBI and account for 47 percent of all ER visits. However, of these, 79 percent of patients were 65 and older, while 54 percent were children under 14. Car accidents were the third leading cause of TBI spanning all age groups. Males were diagnosed more often than females.
Closed Versus Open Head Injury
There are two types of head injuries: Open and closed.
Open Head Injury: If there is penetration or fracture of the scalp and skull, it is referred to as an open head injury. The brain damage is usually along the path of the penetrating object.
Closed Head Injury: This type of head injury is caused by an external force that impacts the head but does not result in fracture or penetration. Striking one’s head during an auto accident can cause a closed head injury. The extent of damage is related to the seriousness of the brain injury.
Types of Brain Injuries
- Diffuse Axonal Injury: The forces seen with car accidents can result in this type of brain injury. When the head is impacted, the skull moves faster than the brain. This lag causes brain tissue to be torn. In turn, this disrupts the normal function of the brain, causing permanent or temporary brain damage, coma or death.
- Contusion: This bruise on the surface of the brain can heal on its own, or surgery may be needed.
- Concussion: This is the most common type of TBI. It can be seen with both open and closed head injuries. In car accidents, a concussion can be the result of neck/cervical sprain injuries where the head whips back and forth quickly. A concussion does not always show up on radiographic studies such as an X-ray or CT scan. Therefore, doctors may diagnose a concussion by excluding other types of damage. Symptoms may include a confused or dazed feeling or a short loss of consciousness, generally under 20 minutes. The symptoms may take months or years to resolve.
- Recurrent Brain Injury: This occurs when a second brain injury happens within weeks or days of the first. While loss of consciousness does not always occur with the second injury, swelling of the brain and damage may occur. Chronic effects may be emotional change and hallucinations as well as muscle spasms.
- Coup–Contrecoup Injury: This type of injury represents a bruise on both sides of the brain.
- Brain Swelling or Blood on the Brain: Both occurrences can cause pressure on the brain. The pressure can affect the nerves of the eyes that control the size of the pupils as well as brain function. A subdural hematoma is an accumulation of blood on the brain. This can cause death if the blood is not surgically drained. In some cases, the blood is resorbed without surgery.
Santa Barbara Brain Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Santa Barbara brain injury lawyer. Brain injuries, whether they are caused by a motor vehicle accident, sports injury or from other causes, can result in extensive hospitalization and a lifelong change in a person’s life. If you or someone you love and care about have suffered a brain injury because of negligence, please call me at (805) 372-0200 or (800) 404-5400. I am here to offer you friendly advice that is free.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This group is comprised of trial attorneys who have garnered verdicts and/or settlements of at least $1 million for their clients.
I am owner and founder of Autoaccident.com, a premier site for information on personal injuries in California.
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