Much coverage has been devoted to the severe consequences of repeated brain injuries in adults, especially injuries related to professional athletics. Recently, some of that coverage has also indicated the severity of the effects of repeated brain injuries in college-level athletes as well as youth athletes. However, sports-related injuries are not the only source of brain injuries. Brain injuries can also occur from severe slip and walls, workplace-related accidents, vehicle collisions, and a variety of other incidents. Additionally, brain injuries can result from different medical conditions that potentially cause swelling in the brain. These types of brain injuries, called perinatal brain injuries when they affect full-term and premature infants, can be extremely harmful and may cause severe developmental or cognitive delays in newborns. According to Cerebral Palsy News Today, the National Institutes of Health will fund new research projects on potential treatments for perinatal brain injuries.
Goal of New Studies
One of the leading causes of perinatal brain injuries is known as hypoxia-ischemia (“HI”). HI occurs when an unborn child’s brain is deprived of oxygen for an extended period of time, thus causing the destruction of brain tissue. Such deprivation can cause the death of the unborn child or may lead to serious complications after birth such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, developmental delays, motor impairments, or other significant impairments. The new studies will evaluate the best treatment methods for full-term and premature infants that have been exposed to HI as well as other perinatal brain injuries.
The grants, totaling $881,000, will look into the potential of inter-alpha inhibitor proteins (“IaIps”) to treat severe inflammatory conditions like HI. IaIps are proteins within human plasma. According to the article by Cerebral Palsy News Today, IaIps play a role in regulating immune responses. As part of this role, they have demonstrated effectiveness in controlling the body’s inflammatory responses. While their ability to protect neurons and other elements of brain function has not been studied, the doctor conducting the studies believes they may be useful in treating brain injuries like HI in full-term and premature infants. Ultimately, the studies aim to determine whether or not IaIps are effective enough to warrant additional research into their potential benefits in treating brain injuries that cause significant complications in infants.
Dealing with Perinatal Brain Injuries
While some perinatal brain injuries occur naturally, others can occur as the result of misdiagnosis or other types of medical malpractice. These injuries can cause severe complications that require long-term or potentially lifetime medical care. Such care can be extremely expensive, and when infants suffer the consequences of these injuries because of mistakes in medical care it may be possible to receive compensation for these injuries to help families afford the additional expenses such care requires. If you believe a medical condition such as cerebral palsy or epilepsy, among others, has been caused by improper medical care that resulted in brain injury to a full-term or premature infant, it is important that you consult with a personal injury attorney to make sure your rights and the infant’s rights are fully protected. The personal injury team at Levin & Perconti focuses on brain injuries and ensuring that victims are adequately compensated and prepared to deal with the long-term effects of brain injuries. Contact the personal injury team at Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation where you will have the chance to discuss the circumstances surrounding a brain injury and find out whether or not you might be able to get compassionate legal assistance in dealing with a brain injury.