For anyone who has suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI), the resulting physical and mental impairments depend largely upon the individual cause. The effects of a TBI may present themselves in obvious ways, such as difficulties with mobility, speech, memory, and/or personality.
However, there may be subtle damage to the brain that may go unnoticed except by close family and friends of the injured. While any type of TBI is devastating, there have been recent scientific and medical advances, which are greatly improving the odds of recovery for many with this potentially debilitating brain injury.
In order to understand how new emerging TBI treatments work, general knowledge of how traumatic brain injury occurs is essential. TBI can be described as damage to the brain due to violent compression of the brain against the inside of the skull.
This can happen because of a fall or any other accident in which the brain goes from an accelerated motion to an instant stop. The various life-threatening health issues such as bleeding in the brain, swelling, and concussion must be addressed urgently to avoid further permanent damage.
One of the newest forms of treatment for TBI is the use of hypothermia. Hypothermia is a condition in which the body’s temperature falls below normal. Doctors can intentionally induce hypothermia to reduce the effects and severity of intracranial swelling and blood loss.
The main concept behind this method of treatment is similar to that of putting a cold compress on a bump or bruise. The cold reduces swelling and promotes healing. When patients treated with hypothermia were compared with those who received traditional TBI treatments, significant improvement was seen. More than 60% of the patients treated by inducing hypothermia showed improvement, compared with only 32% of patients who were treated with traditional therapies.
Another promising treatment has to do with post-emergent treatment for TBI. Many brain-injured patients suffer from vertigo and nausea. Scientists now believe these symptoms might be the result of vision impairments that misalign the vision signals in the eyes. Special prism glasses have been developed that help realign images, reducing nausea and dizziness by as much as 70 percent.
Other promising treatments are being investigated to help TBI patients heal and reconnect vital neural connections. These treatments include unexpected drugs like statins, which are normally used to treat high cholesterol, but also increase red blood cell production. Bone marrow stromal cells and stem cell treatments may also prove effective in such treatments.
New and advanced treatment options for individuals with traumatic brain injury have successfully improved the outcomes and future recovery. While TBI in itself is a very serious injury, the use of emerging therapies encourages patients and medical professionals alike.
If you or a loved one suffers from serious TBI, contact our office for a free consultation. You may be able to recover damages from your injury. These funds can be important to paying for the treatment you need to manage and copy with your injuries.