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New Research May Have Long-Term Benefit for Brain Injury Victims

Our Chicago brain injury attorneys have often shared information about many serious brain issues that can affect newborns, such as cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is not a specific condition, but it is instead a catch-all term used to describe a variety of problems caused by brain problems-virtually all areas of functioning is affected by the problem. When an infant suffers this brain damage, their life is unquestionably altered forever. The seriousness of the problem makes it obvious that everything possible should be done to prevent these injury from arising. Failure on the part of medical professionals to prevent a brain injury from developing at birth is generally grounds for a lawsuit. The civil justice provides an avenue by which the victims and their families can have accountability.

Through the years our attorneys have helped many families file Illinois medical malpractice lawsuits after their young children have developed a preventable brain injury because inadequate care was providing by their medical professionals. Demanding accountability has helped these families ensure that their children have the resources they need to get by each day. Yet, all families, if given the choice would certainly have preferred for their young child to never have developed the brain condition in the first place.

Prevention is always preferable. That is why medical researchers are working to develop new ways to protect children from the often degenerative effects of brain injuries. In fact, just today a new story was shared that information development in efforts to help victims of childbirth brain injuries (like cerebral palsy) as well a variety of other brain issues. Medical Express published the story today, explaining how scientists have recently been halted the development of cerebral palsy-like brain damage in a group of test mice. Washington University School of Medicine researchers conducted the study, using a protein to stop the spread of brain deterioration in the test animals with head injuries.

Specifically, the professionals used a protein known as Nmnat1 to protect brains in mice in a test designed to mimic brain development in newborns. The protein was tested by genetically engineering certain mice to produce an abnormal amount of it. Then, the scientist waited and compared the level of brain deterioration between control mice and those in larger quantities of Nmat1. The beneficial results were seen right away. After only six hours, those mice with enhanced protein levels had noticeably less brain damage when compared to those with normal levels of the protein. The long-term benefits were similarly strong. After a week, the engineered mice experienced less damage to brain areas which usually lead to cerebral palsy problems. The benefits of Nmat1 may certainly help prevent cerebral palsy. But that is just the beginning. The research may ultimately help medical professionals prevent deterioration in a wide range of brain degeneration situations-such as those following strokes and in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients.

Of course, the medical research represents just the beginning of understanding the protein’s role in preventing brain damage. Those involved with the study are not yet sure why the protein works. More research will be needed to pin down an answer to that question. Currently, they are speculating that it work by inhibiting a powerful neurotransmitter known as glutamate. When a brain cell is damaged it produced glutamate. That production often over stimulates nearby brain cells, ultimately killing them. In this way, brain damage often gets worse. However, if the protein is capable of inhibiting glutamate, then the degeneration may be halted. This may have profound implications for all those who suffer from brain damage. Our Illinois injury attorneys know that even though there remain work to be done on these issues, this latest research is a very positive development which may ultimately prevent harm and improve lives of area residents.

In Other News: Two of our companion blogs–The Illinois Medical Malpractice Blog and Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog–were nominated for inclusion as one of the Top 25 Tort Blogs of 2011. The award is part of the LexisNexis project which seeks to feature blogs that set the standard in certain practice areas and industries. The voting to narrow down the field is currently underway, and we would love to have your vote. All you have to do is add a comment at the end of the post about the Top 25 bogs.

Please Follow This Link To Vote: Vote for Our Blog. Thanks for your support!

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Understanding Cerebral Palsy

Birth Injuries Often Have Lifelong Consequences