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The brain's natural protection against traumatic injury

Just as cars have suspension mechanisms that provide protection from bumps, the brain has a protection system in the form of membranes that provide cushion from impacts. For people in Louisiana who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, these membranes have failed to cushion the brain. In an effort to prevent or reduce TBI, researchers are looking at this system of protection more closely.

The research, which appears online in the "Journal of Biomechanical Engineering," examines six subjects. A vibrating pillow produced skull vibrations, and the volunteers wore a mouth guard so that vibrations could be measured. With magnetic resonance elastography, researchers were able to measure the brain's motion. It was found that in comparison to a gelatin model, the brain's protective system of membranes decreased the motion by 90 percent.

Researchers next hope to plan a method that is more streamlined and does not need the mouth guard so they can create a larger study. With more participants, they may be able to find out how variables such as gender and age may affect the brain's suspension system.

Head injuries can be life-changing, and a person who suffers from a TBI may have significant medical expenses. They might also be unable to return to their job because of the injuries. If the person was injured on a property that was unsafe in some way or in an accident, another party might be liable. The injured person might want to discuss their situation and how they might pursue compensation with a personal injury attorney.

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