/ Blog/ Are there long-term effects from even mild brain injuries?
When it comes to brain injuries, many people mistakenly think that it has to be a severe injury to warrant a call to a brain injury lawyer. But a study that was published July 16, 2014 in Neurology says differently. This study discovered that even mild brain injuries can impact the brain matter and cognition of patients.
Even though there is a lot known about how severe brain injuries can impact someone’s life, there is a lot less attention given to mild-to-moderate injuries to the brain.
The study focused on the mild versions of brain injuries since they are the largest group of patients when traumatic brain injury (TBI) breakdowns were examined. 90% of the people that suffered from TBIs had mild or moderate injuries.
For this study, 44 people who had a mild TBI were compared with 33 people who had no type of brain injury. They were given two types of tests.
First, all of the participants took tests known as the Glasgow Coma Scale, which measured their memory and thinking skills. These tests measured the participants’ verbal activity, general movement, and eye movement. Patients with scores of 12-15 had mild injuries, since a person who is fully responsive has a score of 15.
Second, the participants also had a type of MRI that’s more sensitive than the traditional type of MRI, called the diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scan. It better detects brain cell damage, and helps with mapping the fiber tracts which connect the regions of the brain.
The people who had injuries to the brain had scans about six days following their injuries. One year later, 23 of those who had injuries went through the scan and tests once again.
The study discovered that the patients with the brain injuries were scoring 25% lower in memory skills and thinking tests in comparison to healthy people. This was related strongly to the imaging measurements of the damage to the patients’ white matter.
Andrew Blamire, PhD, said the study is one of the first steps to understanding mild TBIs and treating them. This includes better education of clinicians, improving recovery, and targeting intervention.
The DTI scans used are unconventional when it comes to mild injuries. But when they were combined with the GCS testing, these tests may be better at identifying the patients more properly, compared with CT or traditional MRI scans. The test reveals the true extent and level of a person’s injury right away, and helps with understanding a relationship between the patient’s clinical status and what’s happening in his or her brain.
Another study from earlier this year showed that 60% of veterans with a mild brain injury suffered from pseudobulbar affect, or PBA, which involves involuntary, exaggerated emotional responses.
If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury and you would like the advice of a brain injury lawyer, contact us. We offer a free evaluation, and will be glad to talk with you about the brain injury and your legal rights to pursue compensation for your injuries.
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