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Researchers look for brain injury treatments

When a car accident or sports injury sends someone to the hospital in Louisiana with a traumatic brain injury, physicians have almost no options for preventing brain damage. A Columbia University professor, who studies rat brain tissue in the lab, has stated that currently the best treatment is prevention, but current research that he and his colleagues are conducting may provide some hope.

The researchers have mimicked brain injuries in the lab by exposing rat brain tissue samples to trauma. They ultimately hope to develop protective head gear that will limit brain trauma from an impact. The lead researcher explained that brain cells die before the physical damage to the tissue can be detected. This is why current medical technology has difficulty detecting brain damage immediately after an accident. He said that a chance to treat damaged brain tissues does exist in the first two to three days after an accident if effective treatments could be identified.

Right now, the research focuses on understanding the nature of biological damage to brain tissue so that drugs to halt or reverse the damage could be created. Such a pharmaceutical would be given to a person as soon as possible after a blow to the head. Because traumatic brain injuries account for about 30 percent of accident-related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the positive impact of new brain-injury treatments could be high.

Sometimes the symptoms of brain damage do not immediately emerge after an accident. A person who has received head injuries in an accident caused by the negligence of another person might want to speak with a personal injury attorney about the advisability of filing a lawsuit seeking financial compensation from the at-fault party.

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