Hypothermia Slows Brain Damage Wednesday, Sep 3 2008 

Researchers have recently performed an analysis on data to see whether hypothermia can reduce brain damage after an insult.

Canadian investigators performed a randomized trial between 1999 and 2004 to determine if elective hypothermia is better than normothermia (37.0° C) at preventing adverse outcomes in children with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Children aged 1–17 years with a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) of ≤ 8 were enrolled. Patients randomized to hypothermia were cooled with surface cooling techniques until they had esophageal temperatures of 32.5° ± 0.5°C for 24 hours.

After rewarming those in the hypothermia group (at a rate of 0.5°C every two hours), and beginning immediately for the normothermia group, core temperature was maintained at 37.0° ± 0.5°C until intracranial hypertension resolved.

In multi-center clinical trial involving children the researchers tested whether moderate hypothermia (32-33 degrees Celsius) induced in a child could slow brain damage after they underwent a traumatic brain insult. They compared it to those who only had normal body temperature of (36.5-37.5 degrees Celsius). The researchers found that by inducing hypothermia in the pediatric patients at a temp of 32 degrees Celsius could actually reduce mortality. This is evidence that cooler temperatures can help to slow damage to the brain. Brain injury lawyer.


Brain Damage Crystals Thursday, Aug 28 2008 

You can read more information about crystals to measure brain damage at this site.  The military wants to use this for every soldier so there will be a reliable way to detect brain damage early.  This is beneficial because often brain damage may go undetected and thus untreated.  However, undetected brain damage can have many negative consequences for the individual even if it is nearly imperceptible.  These crystals will be able to detect the force of a blast from a bomb.  Often the shock wave of a bomb causes the brain to push against the skull and this may cause some damage.

Brain Trauma Defense Awards Contract Tuesday, Aug 26 2008 

About 1.5 million people suffer from a traumatic brain injury every year in the United States alone. Now the department of defense has awarded a grant worth $35 Million dollars to study brain injury and brain trauma. This contract will likely lead to better diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury.

“Our goal is to make discoveries that will ultimately allow us to intervene with the most effective early therapy before a mild traumatic brain injury results in a chronic problem,”

You can read more about the story at this website.

Color Changing Badge to Detect Brain Damage Friday, Aug 8 2008 

Researchers have created a color changing badge that can be worn by soldiers.  If the soldiers happen to be in close proximity to a bomb blast, the badge will change colors according to the strength of the shockwave.  Often brain trauma from bomb blasts does not show up easily on MRI scans, so this may be a useful method of early detection of brain trauma.

The scientists are now working on correlating changes in color with the amount of brain damage a person should theoretically have incurred after a blast.  In the future this may eventually be worn by all soldiers and will allow a quick diagnosis of brain damage after a bomb.  You can read the rest of the story here.

Brain Injury Lawyer

Deep TMS for Stroke Thursday, Aug 7 2008 

Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a fairly recent invention. Transcranial magnetic stimulation uses an electromagnetic pulse which passes through the skull and this can generate an electric current in a specific brain area. By changing the frequency of the pulse, scientists can either upregulate or downregulate activity in specific brain regions. The problem with conventional TMS is that it it can only penetrate around 1 to 2 centimeters inside the brain. The new deep TMS, however, can reach further into the brain and allows non-invasive excitation or inhibition of almost any brain area. Researchers are testing deep TMS in a new clinical trial to improve the outcome among stroke patients. Deep TMS may be able to shape the brain and utilize neuroplasticity for a beneficial effect. Deep TMS may also eventually be used on patients with traumatic brain injury to improve specific symptoms.

This study will determine the safety and efficacy of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in treating acute ischemic stroke (stroke resulting from a blood clot in the brain).

TMS was found to be effective and safe in the set up of depression. TMS acts by generating magnetic fields in the brain which simulate neuro-chemical changes and stimulate neuronal activity translating into increased secretion of growth factors such as brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This is followed by positive effects of these growth and survival factors on neuronal sprouting, re-organization and also potentially on neurogenesis. Hence it is postulated that TMS will have a positive effect on the recovery rate and extent of recovery after stroke.

Brain Injury Lawyer

Brain Disorder Market Being Shunned? Tuesday, Aug 5 2008 

I read a fairly disappointing article recently that seems to indicate that many investors do not want to invest in companies who specialize in brain disorders.

The second fastest way to clear a room of venture capitalists and other investors is to announce a bomb threat or yell “fire.”

But the quickest way is to tell them you are a drug developer targeting traumatic brain injury (TBI) or stroke, said Harry Tracy, who runs Cardiff, Calif.-based NI Research, a consulting and research firm focused on the neurological and psychiatric therapeutics industry.

In recent years, investors in general have shied away from companies developing therapies for brain injuries and illnesses, except for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, Tracy said.

Unfortunately I think in the future it will become increasingly difficult to get FDA approval for new brain disorder therapies. It appears that our government is moving towards more control of the healthcare market. A universal healthcare system has many benefits over our current system including a reduction in costs. However most countries with a universal healthcare system in place also have a significant reduction in innovation when compared to the United States. The US gets more drug and medical technologies to market largely because the we have a freer market that does not have price controls. So while their is an enormous amount of new technologies being patented, fewer of them may actually get to market in the future.  The FDA has recently made it more difficult to get stuff approved, so investors are much less likely to invest in companies that stand little chance of getting their products approved.

Brain Injury Lawyer

Pentagon Spending 300 Million to Study Brain Disorders Tuesday, Aug 5 2008 

The Pentagon is spending an astoundingly high $300 million dollars this summer for research on traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder. This research may eventually enable better treatments for both troops and civilians alike. The $300 million will fund approximately 171 research projects. These projects will focus on these two brain disorders which are the most prevalent in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Every year about 1.4 million americans suffer from traumatic brain injury, so this research will likely benefit those people as well. You can read more about this development in this USA today article.

Brain Injury Lawyer

Protecting Against Brain Injury Trauma Friday, Aug 1 2008 

You can read another interesting article entitled “Protecting the brain from spiral of damage”.  It discusses about the staggering number of soldiers who have currently sustained brain damage.  It also talks about ways to diagnose and prevent brain injury.  New methods of imaging may allow researchers to better detect brain damage in the near future.

Trouble is, the damage isn’t always easy to spot.

But diffusion tensor imaging, a type of MRI, could change that by showing doctors the individual axon pathways.

The article mentions several new compounds that researchers are studying that may be neuroprotective.  These compounds may be used after a person has undergone a traumatic brain insult.

There are several compounds being investigated as possible neuroprotectants, Harvard’s Zafonte said, including progesterone, the female sex hormone, and cyclosporin, an immunosuppressant drug usually used in organ transplant patients.

Zafonte is one of the principal researchers for an ongoing clinical trial of citicoline, a type of stimulant. He said his study has been promising, showing signs that citicoline might both protect and restore neurons. Zafonte said his team has plans to publish preliminary results soon.

I think these new tools will be extremely helpful to the millions of people who currently have these types of injuries.

Brain Injury Lawyer is a blog about brain disorders, brain injury, brain injury lawyers and brain injury law.

Increasing tbe Brain’s Defense Mechanism Against Alzheimer’s Friday, Aug 1 2008 

Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that can rob many people of their memory and also the capacity for living a normal life.  Researchers are finally making some breakthroughs recently that may be able to fight this terrible affliction.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have discovered a new method for developing treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). They have shown that by stimulating a brain cell called a microglia the cells will partially engulf the senile plaques which are abundant in post mortem AD brain.

Alzheimer’s patients often develop plaque in their brain. This plaque consists of the protein beta-amyloid. This protein can kill neurons and this leads to many of the symptoms associated with alzhiemer’s disease. Now, researchers have done something similar in effect to enhancing the body’s own immune system response to destroy this plaque.  Basically they amped up activity in microglia brain cells in order to attack and destroy the plaque.

Microglia are cells found in the central nervous system that act as the brain’s immune cell. The human brain has approximately 14 billion microglia that patrol different areas of the brain and migrate to a site of injury to help restore normal functioning.

They found that when the microglia are treated with inflammatory stimulants, they actually stop the plaque from continuing to form. 

According to the article in Canada alone their are currently 500,000 canadians who suffer from alzhiemer’s. The costs associated with this disease are enormous (around $12-$15 billion per year).  This recent study is still preliminary.  However, this method may one day find use in stopping the progression of alzheimer’s disease.

Brain Injury Lawyer is a blog about brain disorders, brain injury, brain injury lawyers and brain injury law

Detecting Brain Damage Earlier Friday, Aug 1 2008 

The USA Today has a good article about the miltary’s attempt at detecting brain damage among its troops at an earlier time.  Brain trauma may affect an astoundingly high 320,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.  The Pentagon is finally systemically screening soldiers for these traumatic brain injuries. 

Pentagon initially resisted calls to screen all servicemembers coming out of the battlefield. Under pressure from Congress, the Pentagon in March ordered all military branches to screen for traumatic brain injury (TBI).

This other article also mentions another development in this area.

The Brain Trauma Foundation, with the support of the Defense Department, is developing a handheld eye-tracking device that will enable military personnel to determine within seconds — on the battlefield — if a soldier has been subjected to traumatic brain injury.

I think in the future, doctors will be better able to diagnose brain trauma. This may allow much better treatment of these often disabling wounds.

Brain Injury Lawyer is a blog about brain disorders, brain injury, brain injury lawyers and brain injury law.

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