Nanoparticles to Help Brain Injury Friday, Oct 3 2008 

Researchers from Purdue University have recently developed a new method of deliver treatments to brain injuries or spinal cord cells. They have combined silicon nanoparticles with a polymer (polyethylene glycol (PEG) and the antihypertensive drug hydralazine. This new method may be able to preserve both brain and spinal cord function after a person has undergone a traumatic brain injury when it is injected in specific brain area.

Borgens’ group had previously shown benefits of the polymer polyethylene glycol, or PEG, to treat rats with brain injuries and dogs with spinal cord injuries. PEG specifically targets damaged cells and seals the injured area, reducing further damage. It also helps restore cell function, Borgens said.

In the future researchers may increasingly get better at minimizing the damage associated with traumatic brain insults. They may also be able to repair that damage as well using stem cells.

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.

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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.

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.