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Detecting TBIs with biomarkers

Undiagnosed traumatic brain injuries may result in severe impairment, particularly if an individual sustains such injuries repeatedly. However, physicians in West Virginia may soon be able to use blood tests to diagnose traumatic brain injuries early enough to prevent lasting damage.

Researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles have detected four biomarkers linked to concussions and brain trauma. The proteins, which are located in brain cells referred to as astrocytes, are immediately released into the bloodstream when the exterior membranes of the astrocytes are damaged due to some form of whiplash trauma or blunt force. A simple blood test to detect these biomarkers can be used as a diagnostic tool for traumatic brain injuries.

The current method for determining the degree of consciousness possessed by an individual who has sustained an impact to the head is the use of a standardized scoring system or CT scan. However, according to research, neither of the methods seem to positively impact disability or recovery and are not useful in determining whether individuals are suffering from milder brain injuries.

The inadequacies of the methods that are used to diagnose a mild traumatic brain injury have prompted scientists to identify a signature characteristic that can be used to detect the condition in its early stages. There also is hope that the signature can be used to determine the severity of traumatic brain injuries so that the proper treatment can be administered.

A personal injury attorney may assist individuals who have sustained brain damage because of the negligence of others. They may pursue financial damages from the liable parties to pay for the expenses associated with the effects of a traumatic brain injury, such as amnesia, permanent disability or a coma. Compensation may be obtained for long-term care, medical expenses, rehabilitation and lost wages.

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