Brain Protein Measurements could Help Predict Injury -Related Damage

Predicting the amount of brain damage that has resulted from a traumatic brain injury continues to be challenging for physicians.  A new study finds that measuring a certain type of brain protein and its count in the blood could help determine the extent of the damage that has occurred.

Thousands of Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury every year.  A traumatic brain injury occurs when a person suffers a blow or jolt to the head. A blow like this could occur when a person has been in a car accident or motorcycle or bicycle accident. A brain injury can also occur in a fall accident, especially in a situation where a person has suffered a fall from a height. A traumatic brain injury can also occur in a workplace accident, like one involving a blow to the head from falling debris or equipment. In all these cases, there is trauma to the head, which could translate to damage to the brain. 

Although there are many procedures that can help detect the extent of the injury that has occurred, determining the exact extent of brain damage can be challenging for doctors. It’s hard to overstate the importance of determining brain damage severity as quickly as possible. When such a determination has been made, treatment can begin quickly, and the chances of recovery are greater. 

A new study has focused on identifying brain proteins that can help determine the extent of the brain injury.  In the study, researchers focused on measuring the count of brain proteins called neurofilaments. These brain proteins are part of the signal- transmitting nerve fibers called axons that are used by cells in the brain. Damage to the axons can be used as a marker for the extent of the brain damage.  The higher the axonal damage, the higher the chances of a poor outcome, or a higher chance of suffering disability after the injury.

The researchers believe that focusing on neurofilaments is key to determining the severity of the brain damage.  Determining the extent of the damage even now is often confined to measuring signs of the patients’ responsiveness after an injury, including eye blinking or if the patient is responsive enough to answer questions.  Obviously, there are limitations to these methods, and the researchers believe that combining neurofilament measurements with CT scans and other procedures could help add to the depth of information that doctors have before they are able to make a decision about the extent of brain damage that the person has suffered and the way forward in terms of treatment and therapies.

Brain injuries can be extremely severe, and may require long – term medical care. If you have suffered a brain injury in a car accident, it is important to speak with an attorney who is experienced in handing accident cases.  There are many nuances of the law regarding negligence and who has the duty, that may affect the compensation you can recover for your injuries.  You might qualify for damages that include medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering and other forms of damages.  Schedule a consultation with an attorney, and discuss your case for free.

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