Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be seriously damaging, and getting people the right treatments ASAP can be critical to their prognosis and recovery.
Tragically, however, diagnosing the presence and severity of TBIs has been a big challenge for medical professionals. While this is partly due to the diffuse symptoms of TBIs and the fact that these symptoms can resemble various other health problems, it also stems from the fact that, in many cases, these symptoms can take days or weeks to present themselves.
For those with TBIs, this can mean frustrating – if not harmful – delays in getting essential treatments.
In the near future, however, these diagnostic challenges may no longer be problematic for doctors and patients, as new research has presented evidence that blood tests and imaging tests can be integral to the early diagnosis and treatment of TBIs.
More about the Findings: How Imaging & Blood Tests Could Promote Early TBI Diagnoses
Here’s a closer look at the findings of two recently published studies on traumatic brain injuries:
- A TBI study published in PLOS One reports that an imaging test can effectively differentiate TBIs from PTSD – Specifically, using a SPECT imaging test can help physicians distinguish TBIs from PTSD (conditions that can have very similar symptoms and, yet, require very different treatments), these researchers found. Via SPECT imaging, researchers discovered that TBIs & PTSD had dramatically different patterns of brain activity, with TBI patients displaying decreased brain activity in the regions of the brain in which PTSD patients showed an increased level of brain activity.Commenting on these findings, Lead Researcher David Amen has stated:
Diagnosis and treatment for PTSD and TBI [are] often based on symptom clusters, and difficulties in differentiating between these brain disorders often arise due to the symptom overlap… Functional neuroimaging with SPECT may hold the key to differentiating these disorders effectively, eliminating the reliance on self-report data, diagnosis based on symptom clusters, and challenges to diagnosis.
- A Johns Hopkins TBI study reports blood tests can accurately gauge the severity of TBIs – Researchers conducting this TBI study found that conducting blood tests that evaluated the levels of a certain blood protein (known as BDNF) could indicate how severe patients’ TBIs were within 24 hours of the injury being sustained. Additionally, these researchers reported finding that measuring BDNF levels via blood testing was a viable predictor of patients’ overall prognosis, as patients with higher BDNF levels were predicted to and, in fact, showed remarkable improvements months later.Noting the significance of these findings, Frederick Korley, M.D., PhD, lead author of this study, has stated:
The advantage of being able to predict prognosis early on is that you can advise patients on what to do, recommend whether they need to take time off work or school, and decide whether they need to follow up with a rehab doctor or neurologist.
As more significant findings from TBI studies are published, we’ll report the newest developments and findings here in our blog. Until then, share your thoughts about these studies with us on Facebook & Google+.
Contact a Denver Personal Injury Lawyer at the Klibaner Law Firm
Have you or someone you love suffered a TBI due to some form of negligence? If so, a seasoned Denver personal injury lawyer at the Klibaner Law Firm is here for you, ready to aggressively advocate your rights to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
To learn more about your options and how we can help you, contact our firm today by calling us at (303) 863-1445 or emailing us using the contact form on this page.