Researchers make headway in brain injury research

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One of the keys to treating brain injuries is being able to start the necessary treatments as soon as possible after the injury occurs. Researchers at Brown University have recently discovered some information that really hits this point home.

The researchers built a device to compress neurons. That enabled them to be able to watch for changes in the structure of the cells. They discovered that there is a window of around six hours between a compression event that causes a traumatic brain injury and the time when the structural damage is irreparable. If therapeutic interventions are started during this window, there is a chance that the damage done to the brain cells could be minimized.

While the information the researchers found out was very basic information, it could be a starting point where other researchers could begin exploring more in-depth components of TBIs. That could mean that scientists and doctors could better understand how TBIs occur, which could help them to learn how to manage them better.

Looking at how events that cause TBIs affect the brain at a cellular level has usually be done using two-dimensional cell cultures. Researchers in this study turned to three-dimensional cell cultures to try to make some progress in their study. While they say their method, which also used a piston to deliver an impact to the cells, isn’t as complex as the human brain, it is still a step in the right direction.

While the findings of this study are important, they don’t do much to help people who have recently suffered a TBI. Those individuals might still have to rely on older diagnosis and treatment criteria. For those individuals, ensuring that they are financially secure might help them focus on healing. Seeking compensation might help to provide that financial security.

Source: Providence Journal, “Brown researchers develop new way to study brain injury,” G. Wayne Miller, Aug. 03, 2016

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