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Possible Breakthrough in Concussion Treatment?

A story this week from Summit Health Sciences began with the provocative title “Concussion Breakthrough?” As we reported yesterday, concussion research-particularly in the sports context-is receiving a large push from advocates hoping to prevent their occurrence and limit deadly subsequent head injuries. Our Chicago brain injury attorneys understand that the focus of most research is not necessarily on concussion prevention. It is a bit unrealistic to assume that there will not be physical contact sufficient to cause a concussion in the midst of certain activities. Of course protective gear and rule changes can be implemented to try to limit the chance of traumatic contact, but these efforts are not realistically going to drop the concussion rates to zero. This is no different than conceding that we cannot stop every single car accident and the potential for a traumatic brain injury resulting from them.

However, much focus has been given to the best ways of actually identifying concussions and providing proper treatment. At this point, the young athletes’ health can best be protected not by taking away all chance of suffering a head injury, but by ensuring that the injury is not aggravated and that necessary treatment is received.

The apparent “concussion breakthrough” is similarly geared toward reducing the harm cause by the injury.

The breakthrough refers to a newly approved antioxidant product that claims to immediately increase the level of uric acid in the human body. It is suggested that this indirectly strengthens one’s immune system and prevents the build-up of dangerous free radicals. The maker of the product is arguing that there is evidence that a significant portion of damage from traumatic brain injuries (including concussions) is caused by oxidative stress or inflammation of the brain. Proponents of the natural product argue that anything that reinforces the immune system to combat brain inflammation may go a long way to minimizing brain damage following one of these injuries.

The makers of the product are apparently working with a major university of a study the effects of the product in relation to brain injuries. The lead researchers explained, “We cannot prevent concussions, but our scientists believe that a stronger immune system can significantly reduce the recovery time and minimize the overall damage of these injuries.”

While all possible efforts to improve the well being of injury victims should be encouraged, our Illinois traumatic brain injury lawyers realize that certain things have to be taken with a grain of salt. While natural remedies such as this may very well be found to have some real effect on recovery and treatment for victims, it is important not to exaggerate the apparent benefits. At the end of the day we have to rely on our expert medical researchers to continue delving into the mysteries of the brain to determine exactly how to prevent deterioration and encourage improvement. As with anything, it is important to separate the claims of those with a financial incentive in a product to the product’s actual ability to help in the way that it is intended.

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