Glucose use by the brain can indicate brain injury recovery

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New developments regarding diagnosing and treating brain injuries are being made at a rapid pace. As researchers work to understand these injuries, some very interesting information is coming to light. In a recent study, it was found that measuring brain’s consumption of glucose can help to predict a patient’s awareness level.

The study notes that measuring the glucose consumption by the brain can help to make it a little easier to determine the prognosis in a brain injury case. As it stands now, determining the level of awareness that the person will have a year post-injury is complicated. Determining how the brain is consuming glucose can help to determine the likelihood of awareness recovery during that first year post-injury.

The measurement of glucose consumption isn’t something that is intended to be used alone when trying to determine the likelihood of awareness recovery. Instead, the measurement is meant to be used in conjunction with the routine clinical evaluations that are used during the post-injury treatment period.

Patients received the FDG-PET imaging technique using glucose with a radioactive tracer molecule to determine the glucose metabolism in the study participants. It was found that the lower the metabolism, the lower the likelihood of awareness recovery. In subjects with a glucose metabolism of 42 percent or less than the normal corical activity, total unconsciousness at the test time was noted. That unconsciousness was still present at the one-year follow-up. Those with a metabolism that was higher had recovered their awareness by the one-year follow-up appointment.

Generally, rapid diagnosis and swift treatment might help brain injury patients. When the patient was injured in an accident that was caused by the negligent acts of another, seeking compensation might provide some financial relief from the bills that are sure to accompany a brain injury.

Source: Psych Central, “New Way Found to Measure Awareness in Brain-Injured Patients,” Janice Wood, May 29, 2016

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