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How brain injuries affect learning

Families in West Virginia may benefit from learning more about why children recover from brain injuries at different rates. According to researchers at USC and UCLA, the damage inflicted upon the fatty sheaths encasing nerve fibers in the brain are the most delineating factor, not the severity of the injury itself. In order to gauge how participants recalled and processed information after a head trauma or concussion, the study became the first to combine recordings of the electrical activity within the brain and imaging scans.

According to researchers, once the sheaths, known as myelin, are damaged, transmission of information is hindered and the child's ability to learn is reduced. The study focused on the children's cognitive flexibility, verbal learning, short-term memory and processing speed. Researchers measured the speed of the information being transferred and used imaging for assessing the soundness of the neural structures.

The cognitive test results of the respondents with brain injuries were 14 percent lower than those produced by the healthy control group. The transmission of information took three times longer for the brain injury victims than those in the control group as well. The cognitive performance of the individuals with brain injuries correlated directly with the extent of the damage inflicted on their myelin. Researchers concluded that imaging can be an effective method for diagnosing a patient's traumatic brain injury.

A victim of a brain injury that was caused by another person's negligent or intentional act may benefit from confiding in a lawyer. Legal counsel may be prepared to investigate the incident and help determine which parties can be held liable for the ensuing injuries. Victims injured in these accidents might be entitled to receive damages that may help account for rehabilitation costs, corrective procedures and loss of income resulting from the incident that caused the traumatic brain injury.

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