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Study reveals link between brain trauma and intestinal damage

Traumatic brain injuries are all too common in West Virginia and around the country, especially among children and the elderly. They are caused by external forces like a blow or jolt to the head and can result in everything from headaches to memory loss to mood swings. According to a study by the University of Maryland School of Medicine using mice as subjects, that's not all. TBIs forge a harmful two-way link with the gastrointestinal system.

The fact that TBIs affect the gastrointestinal tract is not new. However, what the study reveals is that they can make the colon more permeable, letting harmful bacteria spread to other parts of the body and causing systemic infections. Victims of TBIs are 12 times more likely to suffer from blood poisoning and 2.5 times more likely to die from digestive ailments.

Together with the releasing of harmful bacteria, a TBI will activate a group of cells in the gut called enteric glial cells. This activation in turn worsens the inflammation in the brain and, with it, causes damage to the brain tissue. Tissue damage is a delayed symptom, occurring long after the traumatic event. Memory loss is another possible symptom.

These are important facts that brain injury victims should keep in mind. While traumatic brain injuries are commonly associated with football and other contact sports, they can also be the result of a car crash or a slip and fall. If it can be determined that the injury was the product of negligence on the part of another party, an attorney could assist in seeking compensation for the victim's medical bills, lost wages, and other applicable amounts.

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