Researchers at MIT Making Inroads in Combating Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, can lead to severe brain damage and personality disorders. In critical brain injuries, pressure can build up in the brain inside the skull. Known as intracranial pressure, the force of this condition can lead to devastating consequences such as crushed brain tissue or a lack of oxygen in the brain.

In order to measure intracranial pressure, doctors currently must drill a hole in the patient's skull and insert a catheter into the brain tissue or a fluid cavity. Because this is such an invasive procedure, it is reserved for patients in critical condition. However, even mild TBIs can build intracranial pressure, and doctors would like to be able to detect intracranial pressure in milder cases of head trauma.

Fortunately, researchers at MIT have discovered a less invasive method of spotting intracranial pressure. The researchers take a patient's arterial blood pressure and perform an ultrasound of blood flowing through the brain, then use a computer model to determine if the pressure in the brain is elevated. Doctors can use this method over time to discover any problems that might build up slowly.

TBI Symptoms

Traumatic brain injuries have been gaining in the public's awareness in recent years. Brain injuries and personality problems affecting retired high-profile athletes have revealed the long-lasting negative side effects of concussions. Symptoms of even a mild TBI include:

  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Headache
  • Balance problems
  • Nausea
  • Loss of vision or blurred vision
  • Personality changes
  • Moodiness or mood swings
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

In more severe cases, a TBI can lead to seizures, slurred speech and loss of bowel control. Severe TBIs can also lead to death.

Anyone who has suffered a TBI, even if it is mild, should seek medical help as soon as possible.

Compensation Possible

Traumatic brain injuries can occur through sports, car accidents or any other incident where the brain is shoved against the skull. If you have received a TBI through the negligence of another, you may be able to obtain compensation for the cost of your injury. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case.