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Deep sleep could protect the brain after head injury

While West Virginia residents incur head injuries for various reasons, professional sports has provided an avenue for exploring the long-term implications of serious or multiple traumatic brain injuries. Football has been an area of particular concern, and a recent acknowledgement by an NFL official about the link between the sport and serious brain disease issues has added credence to the concerns being raised not only with football but also with other sports and scenarios.

Biological activity after a traumatic brain injury is still not well-understood, and treatments for some types of injuries are still debated. However, a Swiss study may provide helpful insights that will allow experts to develop new strategies for treating individuals after they suffer head trauma. The study is based on the fact that a TBI can cause damage to axons, which are integral in communicating with other brain cells.

In studies involving lab rats that were concussed, the induction of slow-wave sleep appears to correlate to better recovery after a blow. During the deepest stage of sleep, the brain reportedly removes protein that has built up, and in the study's rats that experienced induced slow-wave sleep because of medication or handling, brain function was preserved as damage to the axons was prevented. The control group did not experience slow-wave sleep and demonstrated poor cognitive results in comparison to the other groups.

Head injuries can be caused by a variety of occurrences in addition to contact sports. Many are the result of a motor vehicle collision, and in situations where the crash was caused by the negligence of another driver, injured victims may want to meet with a personal injury attorney to discuss their options for seeking compensation.

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