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Medical advances in distinguishing PTSD from TBI

Symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, and concentration difficulties can be representative of various types of medical conditions affecting a West Virginia patient, including traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder. However, a correct diagnosis of the cause of these conditions in West Virginia and other states can be challenging because there is not a reliable method for screening patients for them. Although estimates suggest that millions of adults suffer from one or both of these conditions annually, diagnostic difficulties result in missed diagnosis in many of these cases.

A research team is working to create a test for these conditions that will be non-invasive. Similar to magnetic resonance imaging, the procedure uses an MRI machine. The protocol used, however, is magnetic resonance spectroscopy, which addresses the chemical composition of a patient's brain to identify concentrations of metabolites. Each of four areas of the head is scanned to obtain the needed data, which is then narrowed based on algorithms. The information gleaned is comparable to that obtained by having a biopsy, but this is accomplished through imaging.

The research is in its early stages, and insufficient scanning prevents the tool from being used for a decisive diagnosis of PTSD or TBIs at this point. However, the benefits could be significant if those working on the research are able to arrive at clear standards for using MRS to diagnose these conditions. A timely diagnosis of brain conditions could result in more prompt and effective treatment.

A brain injury could occur in a diverse variety of situations. Although contact sports is one of the most publicized examples, car accidents also involve significant risks of TBI. An individual who has suffered a concussion or a more serious brain injury in a collision caused by the negligence of another driver might want to have legal assistance in filing a personal injury lawsuit seeking accident compensation to cover the medical expenses and other losses that have been or will be incurred.

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