Article published by : Max Health on Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Category : Neurological Disorders

New Device Could Provide Early Detection of Brain Injuries in Athletes

A new device developed by researchers at the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology could be used in the future to immediately identify brain trauma among athletes in high-impact sports like football and boxing. Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, affect over a million Americans every year. The new technology could speed diagnosis and treatment of these serious injuries.

New Device Can Detect Brain Trauma

The new technology uses sensors that monitor the brain's small-yet-measurable magnetic field. The device provides essential, real-time data physicians can use to diagnose brain trauma.

While the technology is currently expensive, researchers are working to reduce the device to the size of a sugar cube and design it so it can be mass-produced in the future. Then, it could be used in the helmets of athletes--even high school athletes--to record changes to their brains' magnetic fields and identify brain trauma.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Affect Over a Million Americans

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries occur every year in the United States. A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, occurs when the brain suffers trauma as the result of a blow to or piercing of the skull. Data from the CDC reveals that most TBIs are caused by falls, assaults, motor vehicle accidents and incidents where the victim is struck by or against an object. However, motor vehicle accidents are the number-one cause of fatal TBIs.

Traumatic brain injuries can range from rather mild concussions, where the victim is momentarily unconscious, to severe injuries that include prolonged periods of unconsciousness and amnesia. Traumatic brain injuries can cause many physical, mental and emotional symptoms. Victims of severe TBI may experience depression, anxiety, aggression, hearing and vision impairments, lapses in memory and an ability to pay attention and problems with coordination and balance.

Often, the road to recovery for these individuals is long and arduous. Those recovering from severe TBI may have trouble completing everyday tasks, including household chores and job duties. Victims may also have trouble maintaining relationships with friends and family.

How to Hold Responsible Parties Accountable

Fortunately, those affected by TBI can hold responsible parties accountable for their actions. For example, a victim of a car accident that causes severe TBI may be able to hold the at-fault driver responsible for his or her medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. If you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury as the result of a car or work accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand any compensation to which you may be entitled.

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By: Max Health

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