Microbubbles Can Treat a Brain Injury
Recently, a research paper was published showing how microbubbles might be used to treat a traumatic brain injury (TBI). There are numerous mechanisms that may lead to a TBI including motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall injuries, physical assaults, and even professional sports. A serious head injury may cause long-term impacts on someone’s memory, motor function, sensory perception, and cognitive abilities. Even a seemingly minor blow to the head may lead to significant complications.
Sadly, many of the available treatments for a TBI are not able to restore someone’s cognitive functions. Once damaged, brain cells and neurons do not regenerate like other parts of the body. For this reason, there has been a lot of research regarding the prevention of tissue damage following a blow to the head. This is exactly how brain injury treatments using microbubbles might work.
Insight Into Brain Damage Through Intracranial Cavitation
There are many ways that brain damage might occur following a TBI. This ranges from direct tissue damage via penetrating injuries to inflammatory responses following a head impact. One often-overlooked mechanism is called intracranial cavitation.
Cavitation is the formation of air pockets or empty spaces in a given area. When someone suffers a blow to the head, cavitation can occur inside the skull. These air bubbles and empty spaces gradually expand, applying pressure to surrounding tissues. This mechanism may be a cause of increased intracranial pressure that might eventually lead to a cerebral herniation.
Furthermore, research performed by medical professionals has shown that intracranial cavitation may occur on the opposite side of the brain from the original impact. This means that cavitation may be responsible for the contrecoup damage in a coup-contrecoup head injury. Researchers have measured pressure changes from intracranial cavitation, showing that severe damage may be possible. In order to treat intracranial cavitation, researchers have been exploring the use of microbubbles to enhance drug delivery.
Ultrasound Techniques with Microbubbles
A team of medical scientists released results showing that microbubbles may be able to cross the blood-brain barrier. This barrier plays a critical role in the defense of the brain against viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Unfortunately, the strength of the blood-brain barrier can also prevent much-needed drugs from accessing critical brain tissues.
Researchers have been exploring the use of ultrasound-generated microbubbles to permeate the blood-brain barrier temporarily. Then, these microbubbles can be used to deliver medications to the site of an injury. This increases the effectiveness of these medicines and may prevent serious damage to the brain following a blow to the head, such as that from intracranial cavitation.
In addition to drug delivery, researchers have also tagged these microbubbles with probes that can be detected on medical imaging. When these tagged bubbles reach their destination, the probes light up on CT scans and MRIs. Therefore, microbubbles might also be able to increase the level of detail on brain imaging, showing signs of cavitation.
One of the major advantages of using microbubbles is that they can only penetrate the blood-brain barrier temporarily. There are other treatment methods that can penetrate the barrier; however, these alternatives often cause permanent damage to the blood-brain barrier. Microbubbles are transient and the barrier rapidly closes up after they have passed through.
Future Directions in Brain Injury Diagnosis and Treatment
Microbubbles are an exciting development in the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injuries. If this state-of-the-art technology is used on a regular basis, it may change the way medical professionals approach TBIs. Increased clarity on medical imaging and improved drug delivery has the chance to save countless lives and improve patient outcomes.
How a Law Firm Can Provide Assistance
It can be hard for individuals and families to come to terms with long-term complications stemming from a traumatic brain injury. There will be challenges both at work and at home. This can be even harder for children who may have trouble returning to their daily routines at school.
If you or someone you love has suffered a TBI, you do not have the face this challenge alone. An experienced brain injury lawyer understands the physical and emotional challenges of this diagnosis. An attorney can help you recover compensation for all aspects of this injury.
Sacramento Brain Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Brain Injury Lawyer. Microbubbles may be an effective treatment option for brain injuries. If someone you care about has been diagnosed with a brain injury due to the negligence of another person, contact me today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
If you would like to read about my prior cases & see how they were concluded, please head to our Verdicts and Settlements page.
Image Citation: The picture at the top of this page was located first on Pixabay and has been printed here with the permission of the Creative Commons License.
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