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Brain injury outcomes may become easier to forecast

Residents of Oklahoma may have heard about a new blood test that may predict the extent of a brain injury and the time needed for recuperation. Currently, brain trauma is diagnosed in the emergency room through CT scans or the victim's symptoms that may result in a worsening of the condition after being released by the physician.

Because CT scans only detect the presence of brain bleeding and not of brain cell damage, using one as the sole indicator may result in a patient being sent home too soon. However, a new blood test to detect brain cell damage has been developed, and it reportedly works by measuring certain protein levels that predict the severity of a brain injury.

Traumatic brain injuries may be the result of a motor vehicle accidents, falls or other traumas. While some individuals may experience mild concussion, which results in blurred vision that is temporary or headache, other individuals may experience severe symptoms. These may consist of memory loss, attention problems, seizures or weakness in the muscles. The ability to predict the extent of a brain injury may improve follow-up treatment or specialist referrals.

One protein, if checked within a day of the injury, reportedly can predict the severity of the brain injury. In tests performed with 150 individuals without brain injuries and 300 individuals with one, this protein level dropped significantly. In more serious brain injuries, this protein level was even lower. New medical studies are scheduled to see how protein levels are affected in longer-term injuries.

A person who suffers a brain injury as the result of a motor vehicle or other accident that is another individual's fault may benefit from consultation with an attorney. Legal counsel may examine police investigation reports and use them and other evidence as part of a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages from the responsible party.

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