Around 1.4 million people become a victim of traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year in the U.S.
Many of these brain injuries are minor, but they still affect the injured person’s health. Considering the high prevalence of minor TBI, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced the disease as a silent epidemic and a leading public health concern. Concussion is one of the most common types of minor traumatic brain injuries, but there is little awareness about how this type of injury affects the brain.
Concussions are Common in Car Accidents
Concussion is usually caused by a sudden, heavy blow to the head, which is common in car accidents. Symptoms of concussion include loss of consciousness, disturbed vision, and loss of equilibrium. In some cases, the injured person does not experience any major symptoms and the brain may seemingly remain intact, but there could be damages to the protective layers of the brain, according to the findings of a recent study conducted by the researchers at the National Institute of Health published in the magazine Nature.
How the Brain Protects Itself
The researchers created a mouse trauma model to monitor the brain’s responses to minor injuries and noticed that the brain has a system in place to prevent an injury from causing any widespread damage. This system works by forming an immune response to the injured brain cells. The study found that one of the molecules, if applied to the brain, can actually reduce the extent of the damages caused by a brain injury.
MRI scans of around 142 recently injured persons were analyzed as part of the study. Interestingly, signs of physical damage were not evident in many of the brain scans. However, damages to some projective layers of the brain were noticed. Likewise, signs of blood leaking into the protective layers of the brain directly from vessels were evident in the mouse model study. It was also found that an antioxidant called glutathione, which is released soon after one suffers a brain injury, helps reduce the amount of brain cell deaths by around 67 percent.
Preventing Brain Damage
The researchers took pictures of the underlying layers of the skull with the use of a microscope and learned how the brain cells develop an immune response to prevent any further damage. It was evident from the images that some brain cells collapsed in the meninges and the glial limitans of the brain. Some brain cells work as “first responders” to prevent any harmful material from reaching the surface of the brain, thus helping prevent any further damage. In fact, the usual inflammatory response of the brain to any minor brain injury helps protect the brain against any further damage, according to the findings of the study. The findings of this study will help doctors diagnose and treat traumatic brain injury cases.
If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident, contact a St. Louis car accident lawyer to claim compensation for damages from the at-fault person. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.