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Increased serum levels after head impacts

A West Virginia resident who has suffered a high-acceleration head impact may have elevated levels of two different types of serums in their body. These serums, tau and ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1, are biomarkers of traumatic brain injuries and may be present even if there has been no diagnosis of a concussion. This finding is a result of a study recently conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan.

Athletes who participate in American football routinely sustain head impacts that vary in degree of intensity. These hits might result in the clinical symptoms and signs of a concussion; although, it can be difficult to determine if a hit has caused a brain injury, and if it has, the severity of said injury.

Neuroimaging methods that are currently used are unable to reveal if a brain injury has been caused by a head impact. Additionally, athletes may be unaware of the minute symptoms of the brain injury or reluctant to admit to the symptoms due to the fear of not being allowed on the field to play.

For their study, the researchers used accelerometers placed in helmets and measurements of the serum biomarkers for TBIs to determine what happens after a high-acceleration head impact. They wanted to know whether HHIs would cause the serum levels of the TBI biomarkers to rise, even if there were no observable signs of a concussion. They also wanted to determine the longitudinal makeup of TBI markers the athletes would develop throughout a season of high-school football.

An attorney who practices personal injury law may advise a client who has sustained brain injuries due to the negligence of another party. The negligent party may be pursued financially for expenses related to a TBI. This could include long-term care, medical expenses, rehabilitation and more.

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