Brain injuries are prominent in the United States and contribute to approximately 30 percent of all deaths involving injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet brain injuries can be complicated for medical professionals to understand, diagnose and treat. These injuries occur when the soft tissue of the brain becomes damaged from a sudden impact like in an automobile or slip-and-fall accident. Brain injuries do not always present immediate symptoms and in some cases, the injury can go unnoticed for months. Some Las Vegas personal injury attorney cases involve situations where car accident victims are not aware of their brain injuries until many days after the actual incident takes place. Researchers continue to investigate the dynamics of traumatic brain injury in the hopes of finding new treatment options.
The difficulty of diagnosing brain damage
Brain injuries are diagnosed using a multi-faceted approach to patient evaluation, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Physicians use a combination of imaging tests, including MRI and CT scans, patient accounts and clinical testing to determine if there are injuries present. However, mild traumatic brain injury has been found to cause significant cognitive damage and requires a special kind of MRI, known as diffusion tensor imaging, to be properly diagnosed, according to a Fox News report. In some cases, brain injuries do not show up on any type of imaging test and must be diagnosed through patient evaluation alone. Once the injury is found, medical professionals can work with the patient to design a treatment plan.
Symptoms of TBI
According to the ASHA, symptoms of brain injuries can vary dramatically from one person to another, depending on which area of the brain is injured and the severity of the impact. Common problems stemming from brain injury include the following:
- Physical problems, including seizures, headaches, paralysis, loss of coordination, nausea and vomiting
- Changes in behavior, including depression, increased anxiety, irritability and mood swings
- Cognitive difficulties, such as a reduced ability to focus, learn new things, retain information, organize, plan, reason and problem solve
- Sensory deficiencies as a result of stroke may cause a patient to experience a heightened or weakened sensitivity to certain stimuli
A Las Vegas personal injury attorney often sees people who have varying degrees of brain injury and may have difficulties speaking, writing or talking with other people due to a another person’s negligence.
Treatment and rehabilitative therapy
When a person is diagnosed with TBI, medical professionals work to stabilize the patient in order to prevent further damage from occurring, as reported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The treatment plan is customized to the injured person’s specific needs, and may include speech, physical and occupational therapy, as well as counseling and social support. New studies show that brain injuries can cause a disruption in brain function and hormone production, and certain hormone treatments may have promising results, according to Life Extension Magazine.
A Las Vegas personal injury attorney may be able to help people who suffer from TBI as a result of a car accident or slip-and-fall accident caused by another negligent person.