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Scarring in the brain with traumatic brain injuries

Many West Virginians suffer from traumatic brain injuries each year. The injuries may range from mild concussions to severe and permanent disabilities. Recent research shows that even mild traumatic brain injuries may cause ongoing, chronic problems, however.

The research, conducted at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, involved researchers looking at the brain scans from 800 soldiers who had suffered from traumatic brain injuries. Using advanced magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers studied scans of the soldiers' white matter. The white matter, which has axons to conduct signals from one brain region to another, is important for brain functioning due to the neural communication.

The researchers found that 52 percent of the soldiers participating in the study had tiny abnormalities, or scarring, in their axons. The axons are nerves that help pass the signals needed for brain communication. They found that some cases of mild traumatic brain injuries also showed the scarring, leading them to believe they could pose long-term problems for those who have them. The researchers also indicated that the standard equipment normally used by physicians may not allow them to see the scarring their sophisticated equipment allowed the researchers to see.

A traumatic brain injury can be one of the most catastrophic injuries a person can receive. In some cases, a victim may be left needing round-the-clock care. Traumatic brain injuries can happen with any blunt trauma to the head. Often associated with contact sports, they frequently occur in motor vehicle accidents as well. A person who has received a TBI due to the negligence of another party may want to have the assistance of a personal injury attorney in seeking compensation for the damages that have been sustained.

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