Many West Virginia armed forces veterans are aware of the traumatic brain injuries that explosions in war zones can inflict on military personnel. Uniformed Services University researchers have been studying the effect of head trauma on the neuroendocrine system and the differing responses of men and women, and the results will be presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society. The findings could improve care for veterans and apply to victims of car accidents and sports injuries too.
West Virginia residents who experience mild traumatic brain injuries might need to see a specialist within six months. Otherwise, some of those people may experience an unfavorable outcome, according to a recent study that examined patients recruited at trauma centers between 2013 and 2015. Unlike most studies of its kind, this one differentiated between patients who were hospitalized and those who were not. This is significant because patients who are hospitalized tend to be more seriously injured. They also have different guidelines for follow-up care. Patients who are not hospitalized are generally only advised to seek recurring care if they have ongoing problems.
If a concussion test that uses saliva to measure the severity of a concussion reaches the market, it might be easier to identify West Virginia children and adolescents who may have lingering symptoms. At present, there is not a test available that identifies those who will suffer from fatigue, nausea and headaches for one to four months although up to 25 percent of children with concussions do. However, researchers at Penn State have developed a saliva test that predicted with 90 percent accuracy which children would have these symptoms over a longer period of time.
A traumatic brain injury can occur when a West Virginia resident suffers a sports injury, becomes involved in a car accident or even falls. These blows to the head can range in severity. Even mild traumatic brain injuries can have serious side effects, though the severity of the brain injury may actually be influenced by a number of factors like the age and health of the person before the injury.
West Virginia residents who have a friend or family member who suffered a traumatic brain injury may know how debilitating it can be. While researchers know that the membranes that protect and separate the brain from the skull play a large role in protecting the brain against sudden impacts and the resulting damage, the details surrounding the mechanisms are still largely unknown.
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.