In West Virginia and across the country, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the cause of about 30 percent of annual injury deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In addition, an estimated 5 million people in the U.S. are disabled due to TBIs. Since the condition is so prevalent, March has been designated "Brain Injury Awareness Month."
Youth sporting events offer exercise and excitement to families in West Virginia, but if a young player gets a head injury, a study suggests that the person could experience long-term effects. Scientists from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center collected data for two decades about how traumatic brain injuries impacted the lives of children.
Ranging from mild to severe, traumatic brain injuries have a wide range of characteristics. West Virginia residents may be interested in learning about how TBIs affect people in various ways depending on the severity of the injury.
Virginia patients who have sustained a moderate or severe brain injury should know that brain injuries are a known risk factor for certain diseases that slowly destroy the brain like Alzheimer's disease. A study also showed that those who have a genetic risk for Alzheimer's may experience accelerated brain deterioration if they suffer a mild traumatic brain injury such as a concussion.
Almost 2 million people around the country sustain a traumatic brain injury every year. When a TBI occurs, the brain will respond by producing a cerebral edema, which cannot be treated with medication and can result in a coma or death. However, some individuals suffer little ill effects from TBI and have researchers wanting to know why there are strikingly different outcomes from similar injuries.
Some people who are involved in motor vehicle accidents in West Virginia suffer traumatic brain injuries. They are among the most severe types of injuries that people may suffer in car crashes. A study demonstrates that getting good sleep may help a brain-injured person to recover more quickly.
West Virginians who are interested in sports may have heard about the results of a recent study reported in JAMA Neurology on brain imaging in normal individuals and NFL players who had suffered head injuries. The purpose of the study was to show how positron emission tomography might be used to monitor sports injuries to the brain in younger and older players.
With the increased amount of traffic on roadways in West Virginia and across the country, bicyclists and motorcyclists face greater dangers of being hit by a vehicle and suffering a head injury. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1.5 million people around the country become victims of a traumatic brain injury each year, and most of these victims were involved in a motorcycle, bicycle or motor vehicle accident.
Many West Virginia residents have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Researchers have been hard at work searching for possible modes of therapy, and a group of scientists in Germany have discovered a medical approach that could bring enormous benefits if it can be perfected.
Based on the results of some studies, West Virginia residents who suffer a head injury might also develop post-traumatic stress disorder. In fact, researchers believe that what is called post-concussion syndrome may actually be PTSD. This reinforces findings in previous research as well as scientists' growing conviction about a link between head injury and PTSD.