The Age of Research – Traumatic Brain Injury
Did you know that damage to the brain might not show up with even the most relevant of testing procedures? An MRI, CAT, or EEG may not show brain damage due to the fact that these tests reveal structural damage. Dr. Strich (1956) and Dr. Oppenheimer (1968) were two of the first doctors to really grasp a deep understanding of head injury. Dr. Strich took to examining the brains of people who sustained severe brain injuries and noted micro degeneration, while Dr. Oppenheimer noted changes and neurons in those injured. This brief history lesson helps us understand that, the more severe the head injury, the greater the actual number of interrupted neurons, the greater the density of interrupted neurons, and the closer to the brain stem the interruption occurs. Early diagnosis is a great way to grasp an understanding of how we can help those who sustained a brain injury, and select the proper treatment. However, MRI and CAT scans have impossible rates and tend to not be diagnosed as early on as hoped.
There are many types of tests done to assess a traumatic brain injury when you believe one has occurred in an accident. Computed Tomography (CT) are typically the first scans taken, and are not as sensitive as MRIs. However, they take less time to complete and have fewer potential complications overall. A Magnetic Resonance Imagine (MRI) uses a magnetic field to scan the brain. They are more sensitive than CTs, take longer, and have more restrictions. Another downside is that they cost more and are not typically done in the acute phase of a brain injury. Electroencephalography (EEG) is a monitoring method that records electrical activity of the brain.
Some lesser-used technologies include Functional MRI (fMRI), Diffuse Tensor Imagine (DTI), Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), and Posistron Emission Tomography (PET). These are not techniques considered to be standard medical care.
Traumatic Brain Injury is actually misdiagnosed quite frequently, on a more unfortunate side of things. Those who deal with misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis may have an increased potential for persistent symptoms, which can pose very serious and sometimes permanent issues throughout their entire lifetime. The people affected and untreated may experience the following things:
- Functional difficulties when trying to return to living patterns
- Depression and anxiety to the point of being dysfunctional
- Tendency to isolate themselves
- Activity avoidance
- Estrangement from spouse, children, and friends
- Suicide attempts
- Problems with the law
Early Stages of Recovery: What to Expect
- Coma: In very severe cases, the person may be unconscious and not respond to stimulation or sounds. They may also have a failure to communicate and show emotional responses.
- Vegetative State: The person may have sleep-wake cycles and briefly orients to visual stimulation or sounds.
- Minimally Conscious State: The person may be partially conscious and know where stimulation or sounds are coming from. They may also reach for objects, respond to some commands, vocalize at times, and show emotion (Novack).
If you believe that you have fallen victim to a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another person, you may have a case. TBIs pose a difficult recovery process and may keep you from receiving wages or plague you with permanent disability. Turn to an attorney that you trust at MDL. Call today for a free consultation!