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Potential brain injury treatment in development

In Louisiana and across the country, around 8 million people sustain head and brain injuries every year. There are different causes of these traumatic injuries, but motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading factors. Since these accidents are, unfortunately, so common, developing better treatment for brain injuries can make a difference in many people’s lives. At one university, an interesting breakthrough has been made. Scientists have reproduced the effects of a traumatic brain injury and stimulated its potential recovery in neuron cells in a petri dish.

These neuron cells were derived from stem cells, and these scientists are the first in the United States to successfully stimulate recovery. Neurons, unlike other cells in the human body, cannot renew or repair themselves after an injury. This can make the effects of a traumatic brain injury particularly intractable. In order to look at how it might be possible to change this process, scientists used a substance called glutamate that is released in the brain after an injury to disrupt the activity of neuron cells in a petri dish.

After the disruption, scientists used electrical stimulation to influence the possibility of recovery after the simulated incident. There is extensive interest in the use of electrical stimulation to repair damaged brain cells. One deep-brain stimulation device was approved by the FDA in 2015 for treatment of Parkinson’s disease. While electrical stimulation has shown promise in treating degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, scientists hope that it could also offer new hope for the treatment of traumatic brain injuries.

Since brain injuries make the recovery process difficult, people who sustain them may require lifelong care and medical treatment. In far too many cases, these severe injuries are caused by distracted, drunk or otherwise negligent drivers. A personal injury lawyer can help accident victims seek compensation for their damages, including medical bills, lost wages and other expenses.

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