Researchers at Wake Forest University are working on a new and innovative treatment for traumatic brain injuries. According to the study, which was published in the health journal Neurosurgery, careful applications of vacuum pressure can control further brain tissue damage following an injury. The process is called "mechanical tissue resuscitation" and its study is funded in part by the United States Army.
Presently, the research is conducted on swine with localized brain injuries. Physicians reportedly placed a low pressure vacuum over the infected areas of their brains and monitored the effects at varying levels of pressure and application times. According to the research report, the results showed that “applying 100 mm Hg of pressure for three days led to a significantly smaller area of brain contusion and reduced bleeding, compared to no pressure”. Researches further noted that the brains of the treated animals were closer to normal than those left untreated.After five days of consistent treatment, all of the treated animals survived. According to the study, the surviving animals showed no signs of deformations in the brain or the development of seizure activity. Researchers reportedly assert that these results stem from an increase in blood flow to the injured tissue. The vacuum pressure reportedly starts the process of oxygenation, when wastes are removed from the area and replaced with healing nutrients.
Mechanical tissue resuscitation is an evolution of the vacuum process, which is successfully used to treat other injuries. However, more research is reportedly necessary before the technique is tested on humans. Researchers state “The ability of mechanical tissue resuscitation to achieve meaningful reduction in loss of brain tissue and hemorrhage injury warrants further investigation.”
Types of TBI Treatment
Traumatic brain injuries are serious problems in today's society. They can result in long term disability and substantial mortality rates. Even after the initial injury, the condition can worsen due to the lack of circulation that causes “the accumulation of metabolites and water in the area of injury.” This leads to the degeneration of brain cells. In an attempt to lessen the immediate and long term effects of the condition, TBI is generally treated in three phases:
Acute Treatment – This occurs in the hospital immediately following the injury causing event. According to the website, brainandspinalcord.org, the main goal is stabilization during this phase. Life support tactics are implemented and surgery is performed as necessary.
Subacute Treatment – This step usually occurs at a specialized medical facility. The patient is screened for likelihood of recovery and an appropriate treatment plans is created. Subacute treatment can last from a few hours to numerous years.
Chronic Treatment – This step is necessary for patients who need long-term care in order to survive and have the best quality of life possible.
If it is eventually implemented, mechanical tissue resuscitation will likely become a tool used during subacute treatment phase..
If you or your loved one suffers from the effects of a traumatic brain injury, contact the experienced brain injury attorneys of Levin & Perconti at (877) 374-1417 for a free consultation.
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