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Improving outcomes for traumatic brain injury patients

When Louisiana residents suffer a traumatic brain injury in a car crash, fall or other serious accident, it is imperative that they receive medical attention as soon as possible. This is because, following the injury, the brain swells. This can result in damages that can may be severe enough to cause a disability or even death.

It is intriguing how some people can away from a traumatic brain injury with little damage while others do not survive. A Duke neurologist believes that the human brain is likely genetically hardwired to swell. Based on his research, a person’s genetics may influence how much the brain swells following an injury. A genetic variation in a particular protein called apolipoprotein E could be part of the answer. Those who had a particular flavor of the protein were more likely to suffer outcomes that were more severe.

Additionally, it was found that the apoE allele could potentially improve a patient’s neurologic outcome. Since it does not easily cross the blood-brain barrier, a peptide based on the allele was created. This peptide has been successfully administered to mice and has shown an improve outcome for those that received it following a traumatic brain injury. A clinical trial will be administered to human patients to determine if it can be used as a treatment in the future.

While head injuries are frequently associated with contact sports, they more frequently occur in other contexts, such as a fall on a slippery surface or a vehicle collision. If it can be determined that the injury was caused by the negligence of another party, an attorney could be of assistance in pursuing compensation for the victim’s losses.

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