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V.A. to conduct more research on female brain injuries

West Virginia readers may have heard that traumatic brain injuries are a serious problem for men, particularly for those who play in the NFL or serve in the U.S. military. However, they may be surprised to learn that very little research has been done on the ways that brain injuries impact women.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' National Brain Bank wants to conduct more research on female brain injuries. The problem is that the bank, the largest brain bank in the world, possesses fewer than 10 female brains. To address the issue, the bank is teaming with the non-profit group PINK Concussions to solicit more female brain donations for post-mortem research. So far, the two organizations have recruited 205 American women to donate their brains for research after they die.

PINK Concussions seeks to improve medical care for women who have suffered brain injuries through sports, accidents, domestic violence and military service. The group hopes that its partnership with the V.A. will lead to more studies on traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder in women. For example, one of the most concerning side effects of brain injuries in men is chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. However, there are no known cases of CTE in women because there are not enough female brains available to study.

A head injury can lead to a lifetime of serious health issues, including cognitive problems, personality changes, depression and dementia. Individuals who have suffered a brain injury through no fault of their own may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties. If successful, this type of lawsuit might lead to a settlement that compensates victims for current and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.

Source: 13 News Now, "Making a difference for female brain injury research," Megan Shinn, May 1, 2018

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