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Test may help with diagnosing serious injury to brain

Brain injuries can drastically impact a person's life in New Mexico, including ongoing memory problems and other cognitive difficulties. Researchers are constantly looking for ways to improve a diagnosis of serious injury to the brain and the quality of life of those who have suffered this type of injury. One test is currently being developed to provide a clear diagnosis of this condition.

The mild version of traumatic brain injury, which happens when a person's head is violently shaken or hit, is suffered by about 1.3 million people in America every year. Right now, no screening instrument or tool exists for the purpose of reliably diagnosing it. Right now, the best chance of having a brain injury diagnosed is by completing an experiment with a doctor. Still, many brain injury cases remain misdiagnosed or undetected since the interview process is a subjective one.

The test currently being developed by researchers for diagnosing injury of the brain is a biopsy that essentially examines the brain's chemical constituents. It involves the use of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A unique protocol known as magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is also utilized.

People in New Mexico who have suffered serious injury to the brain may exhibit symptoms such as depression, anxiety, difficult concentrating, loss of interest and fatigue. If a TBI is caused by the negligence of another party, the injury victim has the right to pursue claims for financial accountability from the party through the legal system. A monetary award cannot reverse the events that ultimately led to the brain injury, but it may help to address pain and suffering as well as provide funds for ongoing treatments.

Source: ieee.org, "Brain Scans to Distinguish Between Brain Injury and PTSD", Megan Scudellari, June 10, 2016

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