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Promising Discovery For Diagnosing Traumatic Brain Injury

Most people know that boxers, football players and soldiers suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBI) at a much higher rate than the rest of the population. The lingering effects of concussions and even less-serious head impacts may take weeks or months to manifest, but the symptoms can include short term memory problems, mood changes, depression and anxiety.

One of the most frequently overlooked causes of traumatic brain injury are car crashes. In fact, according to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, crashes were the main cause of TBI-related death among 15-19 year-olds in recent years. Even a crash that leaves no obvious or serious injuries at the time may result in difficult to diagnose brain trauma. Diagnosis is one of the chief difficulties in treating injuries to the brain, but a recent discovery has shed light on a new method for spotting TBI early.

New Advances In TBI Diagnosis

Brain trauma is traditionally diagnosed through interview questions, cognitive memory exams and MRIs, but each of these methods has serious drawbacks. A patient interview is inherently subjective and the memory exams benefit from a baseline score. An MRI is not only costly but can very often miss the presence of a TBI in patients. According to the MedCity News, new research from Banyan Biomarkers and Quanterix indicates that doctors may soon have another option: a blood test.

Researchers recently discovered that brain trauma releases two unique proteins into the blood stream. In the future, it is possible that these protein markers could be tested for as a secondary indicator of trauma, in some ways similar to the diagnosis of heart attacks through the presence of heart attack enzymes in the blood. Significant testing still remains, but there is now hope that soldiers, athletes and car accident victims may have someday get a quick and accurate diagnosis.

With the US military now investing heavily into studying TBI with its Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury and major commercial research centers making breakthroughs, there is little doubt that we will see improvements in diagnosis soon. This is good news for victims of automobile accidents, many of whom don't realize the true extent of their injuries.

What You Can Do

If you or someone you love has been in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you may have suffered an undiagnosed traumatic brain injury. The symptoms may manifest later or you may miss them entirely as you look to other causes for a bout of depression, anxiety or emotional changes. A personal injury claim, supported by medical evidence, is an important part of getting you the help you need. An attorney experienced in the legal ramifications of automobile accidents and their effects can help you seek compensation that can allow you to get the latest in medical treatment. At the Law Offices of Vickers & White, PLLC, we offer free consultations to car accident victims. 

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