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Researchers may have found a new way to identify brain injury

Massachusetts residents may not realize that using traditional methods such as a CT scan or MRI have been found to be unreliable in identifying traumatic brain injuries. Doctors, therefore, have to rely on patients to describe their symptoms honestly and accurately in order to diagnose a traumatic brain injury. The problem is that patients may not always be open about their symptoms or even recognize something as being related to a possible brain injury.

For this reason, researchers have been working to find a better and more accurate method of diagnosis. For some time, physicians have been using positron emission tomography (PET) scans to identify infections in the lungs. There is hope that using this same method may help identify traumatic brain injuries.

The method uses something akin to radioactive tracers which bind to a white blood cell called a neutrophil. The compound then travels with the neutrophils to the site of the injury. It has been found that these white blood cells pinpoint areas of "early inflammation" in a traumatic brain injury. If the procedure can be refined and proved effective, it could pave the way to use inflammation therapies to treat traumatic brain injuries. Early identification of a traumatic brain injury could potentially improve a patient's recovery time and long-term prognosis.

Each year, many people in Massachusetts that suffer traumatic brain injuries in accidents. Any reduction in the damage done by such a brain injury could give an accident victim a better chance at returning to a normal life. Diagnostic techniques and treatment for these injuries is not cheap, however. When someone suffers a brain injury through the negligence of another, it may be possible to receive monetary damages that could help with the recovery and rehabilitation of the victim. Filing a civil action against the party or parties deemed responsible for a person's injury may provide the financial ability needed to defray those costs.

Source: sciencedaily.com, Could a 'Trojan Horse' Better Identify Traumatic Brain Injury?, No author, Oct. 23, 2013

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