In the U.S., traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death in people under the age of 45. TBI usually results from a blow to the head. Even if a TBI does not result in death, most victims of TBI will be left with some form of brain dysfunction.
Research is currently underway that aims help to detect traumatic brain injuries, as well as possibly prevent the severity of TBI symptoms. The Department of Defense has funded the research project with $6 million.
Almost five million Americans suffer from the symptoms of TBI. Sufferers of severe TBI are basically incapacitated and require constant care. Symptoms of mild and moderate TBI include:
- Memory problems
- Concentration problems
The focus of the new research endeavor is currently on members of the military. Many service members suffer from TBI when they return home after being stationed in war zones. During war combat, military personnel are exposed to many risks that may result in TBI, such as explosions from bombs and crashes.
Researchers hope to discover better detection of TBI and to be able to distinguish between regular brain injuries and TBI. Some of the current research is actually being done right on the battlefield with ultrasound technology.
This research is invaluable because of the lack of information about TBI. Most doctors do not have experience with TBI patients. As a result, patients who suffer from TBI may not be receiving the medical help that they require, unless they seek out a doctor with specialized knowledge.
The hope is that this important research will help all TBI patients worldwide. By learning how TBI affects those in the military, the information obtained from this project can be applied to all patients suffering from TBI.
Source: NBC29, “New Technology to Help Traumatic Brain Injuries,” Kasey Hott, 11 April 2011