Many West Virginia residents who have been in car accidents or who have played contact sports have incurred traumatic brain injuries. Nationwide, over 2 million emergency room visits are the result of these types of injuries each year. Mild TBIs, which include concussions, are the cause of a large percentage of these trips to the hospital.
West Virginia residents may be surprised to learn that more than just extreme head injuries can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. A recent study of civilian emergency services providers showed that patients who had experienced mild traumatic brain injuries also had an increased risk for PTSD.
West Virginia residents who follow football likely know that doctors have linked playing the sport to degenerative brain diseases like chronic traumatic encephalopathy. There have been numerous reports about a 2015 lawsuit that was filed against the NFL by former players worried about the consequences of repeated head trauma. The NFL settled the suit by agreeing to pay 20,000 players up to $5 million, a figure that has worried many insurance companies.
A study of 43 athletes conducted by a group from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto found that the impact of a concussion may be seen months or years after it occurs. The study looked at the brains of 22 student-athletes who had a concussion and another 21 who had not. Researchers found that the frontal lobes of those who had suffered a concussion was 10 to 20 percent smaller than those who had not had a concussion.
Research published in the medical journal Pediatrics may have an impact on the treatment of brain injuries in West Virginia and across the United States. The researchers, from the University of Washington, estimate that between 1.1 million and 1.9 million children suffer a traumatic brain injury every year during recreation or while playing a sport. Most of the injuries go untreated.
Traumatic brain injury patients in West Virginia and across the country who struggle with memory loss may have new hope in a new drug called PDE4B. Researchers from Tetra Discovery in Boston and the University of Miami are responsible for the findings.
Many West Virginia residents have sustained a traumatic brain injury in a car accident or sudden fall. This is a serious wound to the brain caused by some sort of forceful blow, and it brings with it a host of symptoms that have the potential to linger. Mental, physical, social and psychological symptoms are all known to result from TBIs in different ways and at different intensities.
Symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, and concentration difficulties can be representative of various types of medical conditions affecting a West Virginia patient, including traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder. However, a correct diagnosis of the cause of these conditions in West Virginia and other states can be challenging because there is not a reliable method for screening patients for them. Although estimates suggest that millions of adults suffer from one or both of these conditions annually, diagnostic difficulties result in missed diagnosis in many of these cases.
West Virginia residents may be glad to know that scientists have begun a major effort intended to diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy in people who are still alive. Currently, CTE can only be diagnosed by examining the brain tissue of deceased victims. Researchers hope to change this in order to more effectively treat the condition before it is too late.
According to a report released by a member of the House of Representatives, the NFL attempted to influence a study that would examine the link between brain injury and football. The league initially agreed to give $30 million to the National Institutes of Health, but it reneged on its promise after $16 million was to be given to a Boston University researcher who the NFL feared was biased against its interests.