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Stimulation device may assist brain injury patients

A traumatic brain injury can significantly reduce an individual's quality of life. It can negatively alter a person's cognitive abilities, including memory, decision-making skills and awareness. According to a recent study, those in West Virginia and across the nation who suffer from a traumatic brain injury may benefit from deep brain stimulation.

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes says a deep brain stimulation system has three parts. There is an electrode or lead that is surgically inserted into the part of the brain that is to be stimulated. Underneath the skin, a wire extension is run from the head and down the neck and shoulders to connect the lead to the pulse generator. The pulse generator, which performs as a battery, is also implanted underneath the skin near the collarbone.

Researchers at the Neurological Institute at Ohio State University examined the effects of deep brain stimulation treatment on four patients who had sustained significant brain damage six to 21 years earlier. Before the treatment began, the patients required assistance with performing daily tasks and required 24-hour monitoring. After two years of treatment, there was marked improvement in the engagement and awareness of all four patients. Two of the patients required less assistance with daily living tasks, and three of the patients gained significant functional independence, which allowed them to participate in more activities outside of the home.

A person's traumatic brain injury can be the result of an accident caused by the negligence of another individual. A personal injury attorney may advise the injured party regarding the type of damages that can be pursued against the negligent party.

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