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Research Could Lead to Help for Traumatic Brain Injury Victims

December 31, 1969

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is caused by an external force, such as a blow to the head. A common consequence of car wrecks, slip and falls and other accidents, TBI results in a change to normal brain functioning and can contribute to permanent disability or even death.Unfortunately, the Center for Disease Control reports that Traumatic Brain Injury occurs 1.7 million times a year either as an isolated incident or along with other injuries. 439421_headache.jpg

Our Costa Mesa injury attorneys know that Traumatic Brain Injury is a very serious health problem that can have far-reaching effects, including cognitive and neurological problems, seizures and mood changes. Those suffering from a TBI may need ongoing and costly medical help and the person who caused the injury should pay for this and other damages.

Signs of Traumatic Brain Injury

According to the California State Independent Living Council, an estimated 225,000 people in California are currently suffering from a Traumatic Brain Injury.

Unfortunately, TBIs can often go undiagnosed because, unlike other injuries, TBIs can't be seen and symptoms can be misinterpreted. As such, it is important to be aware of the signs of TBI so you can get help. These signs include:

  • Low-grade headaches that won't go away

  • Slowness in thinking, acting, speaking, or reading

  • Getting lost or easily confused

  • Neck pain

  • Feeling tired all the time, lack of energy

  • Change in sleeping patterns like insomnia or sleeping longer

  • Mood changes

  • Feeling sad, anxious or listless

  • Becoming easily irritated or angry for little or no reason

  • Lack of motivation

  • Increased sensitivity to sounds, lights, distraction

  • Having more trouble than usual remembering things or concentrating

New Research on Traumatic Brain Injury

In some cases, traumatic brain injury gets better. In other cases, the injury is permanent and the symptoms or impairments never go away. For those who are in danger of long-term problems or who are suffering from long-term injuries, there may be some good news on the horizon.

According to an article in the March 6 publication in Medical Xpress, the degeneration that results from repeated brain injury may be due to an autoimmune response that is out of control, similar to what happens with multiple sclerosis.

This study was directed toward football players and a blood sample was taken after games. Football players were chosen because routine head injury, like that suffered by football players or soldiers, can often lead to severe neuro-degeneration later on. As researchers discovered, the blood work of the footballers in the study showed the presence of S100B, which is a protein biomarker for TBI. This showed up in the blood in all cases, even if there were no concussions during the game.

The S100B is treated as foreign to the body and antibodies are produced. Some of these antibodies then get into the brain and start damaging healthy brain cells. This is very similar to what happen in multiple sclerosis.

While the study shows that even mild hits to the head can have long range consequences, it also demonstrates that there may be a potential treatment or cure on the horizon.

If other studies verify these findings, then S100B could be a tool to screen patients for concussions. Drugs that influence the body's immune response could potentially also be used to treat TBI and perhaps reduce the severity of complications. It may even be possible to create a vaccine to also reduce the risk of long term damage from severe TBI, which would mean those who suffer from brain injuries might not have such serious and ongoing injuries.

If you or a family member has sustained Traumatic Brain Injury in an accident, contact HOWARD LAW P.C. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call (800) 872-5925.