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Articles Posted in Brain Injury Recovery

In the ongoing fight to treat debilitating brain injuries, scientists may have identified a new and unexpected tool. According to the Science Blog, Gulf War veterans and other traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients are receiving innovative light treatments in hopes of improving brain function. The 30 minute procedure is reportedly painless and involves the application of infrared lights through the scalp of the head.

How the Treatment Works

Patients are reportedly given helmets containing diodes, which are electronic components that emit a current. These diodes send red lights and near-infrared lights through the head. Additionally, physicians place diodes into the patient’s nose for the purpose of reaching deeper regions within the brain. According to the report, MRI scans revealed that the light increased the flow of blood inside of the brain by causing an increase in the output of nitric oxide.
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March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is hoping to bring attention to the level of work that is still needed to adequately diagnose and treat the millions of Americans who suffer from traumatic brain injuries. In recognition of this month, the organization is highlighting its 2015 legislative goals:

*Increase and advance brain injury research studies – While acknowledging the progress that has been made in TBI research and treatment, this initiative seeks to decrease the vast amount of unknown variables that still exist. BIAA asks Congress to support the BRAIN Initiative, which works to give physicians a better understanding of the brain and its workings.
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Every year, more than 2.4 million people experience some level of traumatic brain injury. Falls and motor vehicle accidents are the most common causes, along with items striking the head and assaults. Though most of the 2.4 million incidents are relatively minor, many of them result in extensive pain injuries that impact the victim’s brain for the remainder of his life. People who live with TBIs experience a variety of symptoms, including:

***Depression and anxiety
***Memory loss
***Visual/Hearing Impairment
***Loss of Control over body movements
***Inability to concentrate
***Confusion
***Loss of cognitive thinking skills
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Patients put a lot of trust in the abilities of their physicians. They expect their doctors to act with professional expertise and provide the utmost level of treatment. When this expectation is not met, the patient may face serious injuries and even more questions. Though you may know something went wrong and suspect that your physician is at fault, you may not understand your rights or the correct course of action to assert them. Your many concerns may include the statute of limitations. While many people are familiar with the term, most individuals are clueless about how it affects their individual circumstances.

The statute of limitations is the time limit that the law places on a person to pursue a legal claim. The reasons for these laws include:
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Immediate action is vital to the successful treatment of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). As soon as the causing event occurs, damage begins spreading throughout the brain, leading to increased risk for more serious injury, or even death. Recent reports are discussing a new treatment option that is showing some optimistic results.

The technical magazine, Xconomy, is reporting that music is the latest tool in the fight against brain injury complications. A new Boston-based company is reportedly leading the initiative with an innovative specialization called Neurological Music Therapy (NMT).

How it Works
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During birth, a lack of oxygen to the brain can lead to extensive developmental complications, including traumatic brain injuries and death. Crucial development occurs during the first stages of life and a healthy brain is essential to proper growth. A number of complications can lead to a lack of brain oxygen, or hypoxia in medical terms. The attending physician and medical staff should recognize the signs of hypoxia during or directly following the birth. When that occurs, certain treatments can lessen the extent of the injury and prevent further problems. Head cooling is one possible course of action and it is the subject of recent studies.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association investigated the best practices for head cooling treatments among infants. Head cooling occurs when the temperature of the brain is gradually cooled to a stage where its cells are at a resting point. After 72 hours, the cells are reportedly “woken up” without significant damage, which improves future neurodevelopment.
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Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) are a major issue of concern within the medical community. These injuries can range from mild concussions to serious, debilitating conditions. The most common causes are falls, vehicle accidents and violent behaviors. Two professions rank high among the causes of TBIs. According to researchers, professional athletes and active duty military personnel experience brain injuries at significantly higher than normal rates.

Much has been done to address the issue of brain injuries among military soldiers, who are often impacted during active combat. Severe blows to the head, along with violent explosives leave these men and women with serious injuries. A recent report by ESPN discusses how military treatment efforts are now being expanded to include professional athletes, including members of the National Football League (NFL). Researchers hope that the new program will aid TBI recovery for both the participating soldiers and the athletes.
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The fight against traumatic brain injuries (TBI) took a disappointing blow recently, when a highly anticipated treatment showed no benefit for treatment. According to a report in Medscape Medical News, researchers were hopeful that the administration of progesterone immediately following a TBI would improve brain function and diminish long term effects. The prevalence of TBIs continues to grow within the United States, leading to deaths and long term disabilities. Researchers are diligently working to identify a viable treatment and previous studies led them to believe that progesterone was a strong possibility.

More than 200 laboratory studies have researched the administration of progesterone to treat brain injuries. Animal testing showed a reduction in cerebral edema, which is the accumulation of fluid within the spaces of the brain. The fluid retention causes the brain to swell, increasing pressure against the skull. When this occurs, blood flow can become restricted, leading to significant decreased functioning and possible death. Cerebral edema is a common condition among brain injury patients and a procedure to prevent or treat it would provide a major accomplishment in the fight against TBI damage.

The Study Details

The diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) is a major health concern within the American medical community. According to the Brain Trauma Foundation, about 52,000 fatalities occur each year as a result of TBIs. In addition, more than 5 million Americans are currently living with TBI-related disabilities. The Foundation also reports that TBIs are associated with a significant increase in Alzheimer’s disease risks. It is a serious problem that sends millions of injured individuals to the emergency room each year. Though there are numerous causes of TBIs, sports related injuries are among the most common. The problem is continuously growing, with increased incidents reported annually.

The severity of traumatic brain injuries makes early diagnosis even more vital. Towards that end, doctors and researchers are constantly looking for innovative methods to identify the condition at its earliest stage. A recent report in the Star Tribune discusses a new process of diagnosis that researchers find promising. They have reportedly spent decades searching for a blood test that adequately indicated the presence of a concussion, as well as its severity.
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On a New Jersey highway in June, a fatal accident took the life of one successful comedian and tragically changed the life of another. Recent reports reveal that television actor and comedian Tracy Morgan is suffering from traumatic brain injuries. These complications are reportedly so severe that may permanently keep him from returning to the stage.

Morgan was a passenger in a limousine, when the vehicle was reportedly hit from behind by a Wal-Mart tractor trailer. In the weeks that followed, news outlets reported that the driver of the tractor trailer had been awake for more than 24 hours at the time of the accident and he was officially charged with vehicular homicide and death by automobile. Morgan also filed a lawsuit against the retail store for negligence and reckless conduct. According to recent reports, a counter suit was filed alleging that Morgan is to blame for not wearing his safety belt.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents are the third leading cause of traumatic head injuries among victims of all age, making up about 14% of all incidents. In addition, auto accidents cause 26% of all traumatic head injury deaths, making them the second leading cause of these fatalities between 2006 and 2010. When an accident occurs, the impact can result in a variety of injuries. It can cause a jolting, bumping or penetration of the passenger’s head, which may interrupt normal brain functions.

Memory Loss
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