Recent Advances In Traumatic Brain Injury Medicine Every Injury Lawyer Should Know
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBI, aren’t well understood even today. The brain is an extremely complex organ that has an impact on every other part of the body, not to mention our conscious thoughts and actions, and so any number of things can happen as a result of TBI. Dizzy spells, personality changes, chronic pain, limited motion, trouble speaking, just about everything is on the table.
What’s worse, the full effects of TBI don’t always show up right away. A chronic TBI can act like an ordinary concussion at first and the initial symptoms can fade the same way, but then days later the real effects of the injury make themselves known. When TBI takes its time showing up after an auto accident or another personal injury that hits the head, it gives insurance companies a chance to deny that the two things are related and avoid paying for a serious and usually long-term condition.
But on the bright side, science marches on, and that includes our understanding of TBI. Researchers around the globe are studying the condition, and they’ve uncovered some significant information.
Right now, our best options for diagnosing TBI are a CT scan and a basic questionnaire. Neither method can catch every case of TBI, especially not mild cases. They also have no way of predicting any long-term effects.
That’s why neuroscientists at UCLA have pinned down four biomarkers they can identify from a straightforward blood test. The biomarkers are proteins released by damaged brain cells, proteins that don’t show up under any other conditions. So while TBI may still take place without the markers, finding them is proof of a brain injury.
That’s important both to sports and to personal injury cases. For sports it means the medics will know to take someone off the field to avoid making a TBI worse, and for personal injuries it means you can prove right away that an accident caused TBI regardless of how long it takes for the symptoms to appear.
CENTER-TBI, or the Collaborative European NeuroTrauma Effectiveness Research in Traumatic Brain Injury, is a study nearly three years in the making. The idea has been for the EU’s European Commission to collect information about all the different techniques doctors are using to diagnose and treat TBI and then compare them to find out what’s working best and what’s unnecessary.
The study isn’t done yet, though. While CENTER-TBI is done gathering information, it’ll take another three years to go through it all and uncover the best results. Still, the study has already published 12 of the clearest recommendations, including new ideas for more studies because our understanding of TBI is constantly moving forward.
A better understanding of TBI is critical to many personal injury lawsuits because it lets lawyers draw a clear line of cause and effect between an accident and an injury. That’s important to establish because when the link isn’t clear it gives the insurance company that would pay for treatments a reason to avoid paying or pay less than they should.
If you need to know more about the legalities of TBI and you live in southwest Florida, you should contact the offices of , Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, and Walsh. With plenty of offices along Florida’s Gulf Coast, you can count on our expertise when it comes to TBI claims and lawsuits.