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Researchers say inflammation key to degenerative brain problems

West Virginia residents who have friends or family members that have suffered brain injuries might be interested in the findings of university researchers regarding chronic brain degenerative problems and the nature of traumatic injuries to the brain. Specifically, two University of Maryland researchers found that the problems that develop following a traumatic brain injury are due more to inflammation of and around the brain than they are due to acute trauma.

One of the researchers, a neurologist and professor, said inflammation is an important issue that the medical community has not yet taken seriously. Some brain image studies, he said, have indicated that persistent inflammation of the brain may be quite common following multiple mild head injuries or even a single moderate traumatic brain injury. Other studies have indicated that brain inflammation may continue for months or years following a TBI.

The University of Maryland researchers believe that some treatments may effectively combat chronic brain inflammation caused by traumatic brain injuries. Controlled, regular exercise together with certain experimental drugs have controlled chronic brain inflammation in other studies. This, according to the researchers, is the reason the medical community should turn its focus toward furthering and refining the treatment of chronic brain inflammation. In general, medical professionals tend to give more emphasis to a specific diagnosis, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, for example, than to other mechanisms which may impact brain function.

While TBIs are often thought of as being connected with football or other contact sports, they also often result from car accidents. A person who has sustained such a brain injury in an auto accident caused by the negligence of another motorist may want to meet with a personal injury attorney to explore the legal remedies that may be available for seeking compensation from the at-fault driver for the damages that have been incurred.

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