Articles Posted in Treatment

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Is there a risk of brain injury when playing games like football? No question. Have players in Chicago and throughout Illinois been permanently disabled (and even killed) as a result of collisions on the field? Yes. Is everything possible being done to keep players safe? That’s still up for debate.

The connection between football playing and brain injuries is well-known. But what truly matters from a legal perspective is the work that is done (or not done) to prevent those injuries. Not all injuries lead to legal liability, but many do. That is because quite often these brain injuries are predicated in whole or in part on unreasonable behavior by those in a position to prevent the harm. That premise is at root in the high-profile NFL brain injury cases, where hundreds of former players claim they suffered serious consequences as a result of their playing days. The suit claims that the NFL hid information about those risks and otherwise did not do enough to keep those players as healthy as possible.

The NFL finally made news in a good way last week, after the league donated $30 million to the National Institute of Health. The donation will be used to help research efforts into head injuries in all athletes.

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Science Daily reported this weekend on publication of the results of a new research effort seeking to improve the way traumatic brain injuries are treated. As our Chicago brain injury attorneys have often shared, we have a long way to go before comprehensive treatment options are available repair brain damage. As it currently stands, many who experience these harms–most commonly from things like car accidents, falls, and sports contact–have little recourse to recover fully following the injury.

Yet, more than at any time in the past, researchers are working on various efforts to hopefully better understand how these injuries arise and what can be done to reverse the damage. This latest study is just another step in the effort.

According to the report, scientists published information in the latest issue of the journal Brain which suggests that inhibiting enzymes can decrease traumatic brain injury severity. The research effort was led by two scientist who collaborated from across the globe (Switzerland and the United States) for over five years on the project. The fruits of their labor included gathering evidence that two particular enzymes work together to increase the severity of a brain injury shortly after it occurs–the enzymes are known as t-PA and MMP-3. These enzymes serves vital roles for the healthy patient but this new evidence suggest they exacerbate the problem following a brain injury.

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A debate has been raging over the past two weeks on the effect of ECT-electroconvulsive therapy-and the brain. On one hand, a wave of media reports were recently released which suggest that there may be a strong connection between use of the therapy of elimination of certain symptoms of depression. Our Illinois brain injury lawyers appreciate that treatment for the serious harm caused by depression is important. However, it is vital that that the potential negative consequences of the therapy be fully examined. A new story from the Huffington Post this week explores how the treatment may actually cause serious brain injuries.

What is ECT?

The therapy involves placing electrodes over both temples in order to overlap the brain’s frontal lobes. A surge of electricity is then given to the brain via the electrodes. The electricity hits the tip of the temporal lobes more strongly. This is the part of the brain that affects memory. In addition, the surge also hits parts of the frontal lobes in charge of high human functions. Our Chicago brain injury attorneys know that damage to this part of the brain may have severe consequences for those involved.

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Pathways, a new film by Brandon and Tiffany Verzal, records the trials and tribulations of several patients in their struggle to recover from traumatic brain injuries. The 75-minute documentary sheds light on the extensive and grueling rehabilitation process. It focuses on the lives of four patients of varying ages, including their two year-old daughter, Alexis, who suffered a severe brain injury at a daycare. Her injury is consistent with shaken baby syndrome and authorities believe that Alexis may have been thrown by her day care provider, who begins trial next month.

The film premiers this week and is set to hit the film festival circuit.

Click the following link to the article in the Lincoln Journal Star for more information on Alexis, her family, their struggle to recover from traumatic brain injury, and this enlightening new documentary.

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At Weill-Cornell Medical Center, a research team tested deep brain stimulation on a man who was minimally conscious for six years due to a brain injury. Prior to the stimulation, his brain damage caused him to not be able to chew and he rarely communicated by using his thumb to set off a device. Doctors performed stimulation on the area of his brain that controls the body’s sleeping and waking. After the treatment, he could chew and swallow, speak in short sentences and move his limbs. Researchers cautioned that in cases of severe brain damage, patients probably would not respond to deep brain stimulation. The FDA has approved deep brain stimulation studies on twelve more people with brain injuries. Read the full story on this advancement in brain injury treatment by following the link

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One result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is a growing number of American troops suffering traumatic brain injury. A new treatment that could supply high doses of oxygen to the brain to speed up the growth of brain tissue is underway. Hyperbaric chambers have been used to help patients recover from such conditions as the bends. Now, doctors are testing to see if these medical devices may help in the treatment of traumatic brain injuries. Currently, soldiers suffering from traumatic brain injury at Brooks City Base in Texas are participating in the study. Doctors are hopeful for positive results, but caution that the treatment will take place in conjunction with other brain injury treatments such as therapy and drugs. Read more about the use of hyperbarics for brain injuries.

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A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine notes the treatment of sleep disorders in patients suffering from a traumatic brain injury is not effectively alleviating the symptoms complained of. This new study shows that patients with brain injuries, although sleeping better, still experience mood swings, daytime sleepiness, and lowered cognitive performance. Researchers claim some of the brain injury test patients may have had serious sleep disorders prior to suffering a traumatic brain injury. To read more about this brain injury study, please click here.

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Researchers from the Universities of South Alabama and North Carolina at Charlotte claim an analysis of data compiled from studies with those who have suffered from a brain injury shows that cognitive rehabilitation may work to strengthen the mind much the same way physical therapy can improve the body after injury. Traumatic Brain Injuries can decrease memory, cognitive ability, and analytical skills. To find an Illinois Lawyer experienced in litigating brain injury cases, contact Levin & Perconti. To read more about this new brain injury study, please click here.

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Epilepsy is a neurological disease typified by recurring seizures and abnormal brain activity. 1 out of 100 people are affected by epilepsy, and it causes about 50,000 deaths per year. The seizures caused by epilepsy can cause traumatic brain injury, having effects such as developmental delays, depression, and even death. US soldiers in Iraq who suffer from traumatic brain injuries are at a great risk for developing epilepsy. Based on the severity of the condition and it’s prevalence in society, much more research is needed on the subject. For more information, click here.

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A new treatment that is geared specifically for U.S. soldiers from the Iraq war has been developed for those with traumatic brain injury. The brain injury treatment will treat diver’s bends, which occurs when a diver is exposed to pressures that begin to increase without proper precautions. The brain injury treatment is known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). Scientists believe that when applied to a traumatic brain injury victim, HBOT may be able to relieve the pressures of an explosive blast-induced brain injury, which has become very common in the Iraq war. Victims of the brain injury may find hope in the new treatment, which can be physically, mentally and financially devastating. To read the full story, click here.