Articles Posted in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Recently, we posted on the serious dangers of what is called mild traumatic brain injury. These injuries are not visible on an MRI, but can cause life long impairments in adults and children. Now the CDC has issued a statement that even mild traumatic brain injuries can result in life-long impairments.

As brain injury lawyers having represented the victims of MTBI, we are well-aware of the dangers of these injuries and the need for the public to be aware of them. As noted by the CDC, “symptoms may appear mild, but the injury can lead to significant life-long impairment affecting an individual′s memory, behavior, learning, and/or emotions.”

The CDC’s statement about these brain injuries was part of a release of some sobering statistics about US youth and brain trauma. The CDC reports that over the past decade, head injuries resulting in emergency room visits have risen by 60 percent. These head injuries are mainly due to accidents involving kids playing football, soccer, and basketball, riding bicycles and playground activities.

As California brain injury lawyers, we have represented victims and families dealing with the devastation of head injuries. These injuries can range from mild traumatic brain injury which can itself have devastating symptoms, to traumatic brain injury which can result in tragic medical consequences. The word “mild” does not actually mean that the symptoms are mild. In fact, a mild traumatic brain injury can cause life-changing symptoms and have a major impact on such functions as memory, cognition and other areas of brain function.

And now a medical research project at the VA San Diego Healthcare System which started about three years ago to discern post-traumatic stress disorder from traumatic brain injury, is gaining national attention and could help all patients who are suffering brain injuries.

Mingxiong Huang and his colleague Roland Lee are medical researchers at the University of California San Diego. They have focused on the specific diagnostic tool magnetoencephalography, or MEG, and diffusion tensor imaging to determine whether this tool might be a better diagnostic method than MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

According to the report in the North County Times, these research findings are so promising that Huang is headed to Washington to brief officials as to how these advanced brain-imaging techniques might just be the answer for more accurate detection of not only mild traumatic brain injuries, but distinguishing these injuries from the post traumatic stress disorder.

We are aware that MRI does not reveal some brain injuries after car accidents for example, because we have represented clients that had normal MRI’s, but suffered severe symptoms after an accident, such as a rear-end vehicle collision. As it turns out, the research reveals that in fact 70 percent of traumatic brain injuries are not found on MRI which is the most commonly used device for scanning and diagnosing brain injuries.

These researchers have found that “damaged areas of the brain appeared on MEG scans as having slower-than-normal brain waves, while diffusion tensor imaging recorded those areas as black holes or as frayed or weakened fibers.” This will not only help doctors distinguish brain trauma from post-traumatic stress disorder in about 90 percent of the cases, it will also help diagnose mild traumatic brain injuries.
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According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, 1.5 million Americans sustain traumatic brain injuries annually and 75% of those are considered what is deemed “mild.”

But the California Injury Attorney Blog wants Americans to know that even a “mild” traumatic brain injury can be very serious and devastating. In fact, about 15% of those patients with mild traumatic brain injury can suffer disabling and persistent problems.

Recently, San Francisco’s injury law firm Hersh & Hersh, which is affiliated with the California Injury Attorney Blog, achieved a substantial settlement for a man injured in a rear end accident. Rear end accidents are common, but can result in persistent injury, including what is called Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI). The firm established through the medical evidence that a low impact rear end accident which causes a whiplash can also cause MTBI and vestibular (inner ear) injury which, when combined, can result in serious, lengthy disability.