Statistics show that falls are the number one cause of open and closed head injuries in Oklahoma and across the country, closely followed by auto accidents. However, when it comes to brain injury-related deaths, car accidents are number one. Brain injuries can be fatal even without the skull being penetrated.
When people in Oklahoma suffer injuries to their brains, this can unfortunately affect their lives on both a mental and emotional level. In some cases, brain injury patients bounce back quickly. However, in other cases, recovery requires a much longer period of time. The good news is that scientists recently revealed that blood testing may help physicians to better understand who might take longer to recover from brain injuries.
Many people in Oklahoma and across the country underestimate the consequences of concussions. They might not realize that a concussion is a brain injury that follows a blow to the head in a fall, car accident or on the sports field. Even if the person seems fine, a concussion can cause confusion, problems with vision, speech, memory and balance, and it could remain hidden for days or even weeks.
The brain is one of the most important organs in the human body. Any kind of head trauma is a big deal, even if the injury seems insignificant at first. A brain injury can disable a person for the rest of his or her life. In Oklahoma and across the United States, nearly three million people suffer brain injuries every year. A school district in another state is facing a lawsuit after coaches at a high school allegedly failed to report a head injury.
Construction workers, sports players and the victims of car crashes are all liable to suffer from head trauma. What may seem like minor head trauma at first can turn out to be a traumatic brain injury. Oklahoma residents should know that there are currently two primary ways to detect a TBI: MRIs and CT scans.
Oklahoma residents should know that mild traumatic brain injuries, also known as concussions, can increase the risk for certain mental health conditions. A study conducted by researchers at the University of California in San Diego compared the prevalence of and risk determinants for post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder among two different groups: those that incurred mTBIs and those that incurred non-head orthopedic trauma injuries.
Physicians in Oklahoma often aim to diagnose and treat traumatic brain injury victims in a way that minimizes the risk of secondary issues. However, it's not always easy to achieve this goal. This is why the National Science Foundation (NSF) is funding a four-year study that will involve the use of new machine learning techniques to produce models that may be able to more accurately categorize patients, predict short- and long-term outcomes for TBI victims and present patient-specific intervention recommendations.
The treatment for Oklahoma patients who have sustained a traumatic brain injury is typically based on established clinical practice guidelines. An update to guidelines for patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries being implemented in Canada could provide guidance for health professionals in the United States. The update was based on input from the rehabilitation professionals directly involved with many of the main aspects of patient care, from the initial assessment through follow-up care. The goal is to better address the many needs of TBI survivors.
Oklahoma residents who may suffer from brain injuries might be interested in promising new research that could lead to new therapies. Neuron cells from the central nervous system, unlike most other cells, do not regenerate, making many brain injuries permanent. However, researchers may have discovered hope through experimentation.
Oklahoma residents who have suffered a traumatic brain injury are likely to experience changes in their myelin. According to initial research that has been conducted with mcDESPOT magnetic resonance imaging, alterations in the myelin content in the brain are noticeable when an injury first occurs and three months afterward.