With the prevalence of news about brain injuries seemingly being reported on a regular basis, many may be surprised to learn that they can at times be difficult to identify. This difficulty is mostly due to the inability to actually see the physical damage done inside the brain.
In an effort to improve the diagnosis of brain injuries, a new tool is being tested by scientists. The MRI-based tool is designed to highlight the breaks that have occurred within the wiring of the brain. The idea is similar to how broken bones appear on an X-ray.
Brain injuries are sustained by a people of all ages due to a variety of accidents. Those most often heard about are likely those sustained in car accidents. Soldiers are also prone to the injuries while in combat. More recently, brain injuries due to sport accidents have been widely reported on. Efforts are being made to reduce the number of brain injuries that occur in all of these situations
The extent of the brain injury varies depending on each person and in the accident that caused it. Common problems include mood changes and memory loss. For those who suffer a traumatic brain injury, also known as TBI, the long-term effects can be more serious. Partial or total paralysis may result and in the worst cases, death can ensue.
Whether this new method of diagnosing brain injuries will improve the outcome for the person who has suffered it remains to be seen. We will provide updates as they become available.
Source: CBS News, “New technology could change how traumatic brain injuries are diagnosed,” March 2, 2012