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Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a major cause of death in the United States. According to the CDC, from 2006 to 2014, TBI-related emergency room cases increased by 53%. These injuries are common in slip and falls and motor vehicle accidents.
The short-term effects of TBI include excess sleeping, irritability, difficulty concentrating, sensitivity to light, and more. The long-term effects of TBI vary just as widely and may not manifest for years.
TBI often results in long-term impairments like epilepsy, migraines and memory loss. Some victims of TBI may even develop mental or emotional disorders years later, and TBI may make an individual more susceptible to Alzheimer’s later in life.
Over 56,000 people suffered TBI-related deaths in 2014, including over 2,500 children. Many researchers believe that early identification and treatment is vital. At the University of California Riverside, researcher Viji Santhakumar has made a breakthrough in treating TBI-related epilepsy. Santhakumar’s team studied concussions in athletes. They explored the connection between neurological disorders and how the immune system reacts to brain cell death. Their research reveals that, in an attempt to heal after suffering TBI, the brain overworks an immune system receptor. This overly excited part of the brain adversely affects the hippocampus, which impacts learning and memory.
By suppressing this excited receptor, Santhakumar found that they can reduce one’s susceptibility to seizure in the wake of TBI. This discovery may have larger implications for treating the long-term effects of TBI as a whole. Santhakumar is confident that following the research may allow doctors to treat other long-term effects of TBI including loss of memory, cognitive impairment and behavioral disorders.
Those suffering from TBI should contact a doctor immediately for an examination. If the sustained injuries resulted from a slip and fall or motor vehicle accident for which another party is liable, victims may have questions about filing a personal injury claim. A local lawyer familiar with personal injury can provide answers and help secure financial restitution.
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