Over the past decade, scientists and doctors have made many advances with regard to how head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, are treated. One major reason for this was that in the global War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq among other places, we have had thousands of brave men and women coming home after suffering head injuries as a result of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), enemy fire and other accidents. In wars past, these men and women would likely have died on the battlefield. Today, with advances in modern medicine, they are surviving – and returning home in need of treatment for brain injuries.
One of the reasons brain injuries are so problematic is because once the brain cells are destroyed, they do not regenerate as part of the normal healing process. In other words, the damage is often life-long. In addition to brain injury caused by a traumatic impact, having stroke results in a deprivation of oxygen to the brain, and that results in the death of brain cells.
According to a recent news article from the Huffington Post, scientists have taken a major stop towards being able to fix damaged brain cells for the first time in history. While it is no easy task, the method involves transplanting new neurons into the damaged area of the brain so the damaged areas can heal.
The reason this is so challenging is because all neurons do not act the same. When a person is growing up and learning, the neurons develop and interact with other surrounding neurons. This results in neural pathways being formed. If you took neurons from another part of the brain or an organ donor, these new neurons would not work like the old ones, since they were not there when the pathways were formed.
This new method being developed will involve the use of embryonic neurons that may have the ability to develop the same connections as the cells they are replacing. This method has already been used in mice, and researchers have found that the proper pathways were formed.
While this will provide hope and will with a lot of luck be available to patients with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the future, we are still a long way from that happening. These days, when someone suffers a TBI, they will have a long road of recovery and have to relearn many of the activities that were once second nature to them. For example, as our Boston brain injury lawyers have seen, victims must learn how to walk again, how to talk again, and how to eat again.
Not only is this very difficult and emotionally challenging to victims and their families, it is also very expensive for all of the occupational therapy and treatments. This cost can be covered as part of a damage award following a brain injury lawsuit, and this is something that you should discuss with your experienced brain injury lawyer.
If you have suffered personal injury in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
Scientists Take Big Step Toward Being Able To Repair Brain Injuries, October 28, 2016, By Bahar Gholipour, The Huffington Post
More Blog Entries:
Eye Test as Means to Test for Concussion and Brain Injury, July 23, 2016, Boston Brain Injury Lawyer Blog