Proteolytic Biomarkers MAP Brain Damage Detection Sunday, Dec 14 2008 

Banyan Biomarkers is a company that creates products to help diagnose those who are brain injured. They have recently been granted a new US patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The patent is for proteolytic biomarkers that will be used for the detection of traumatic brain injuries. The patent itself describes a novel method of determining brain injuries. This determination would be done by the use of proteolytic breakdown products of MAP’s. MAP’s are microtubule-associated proteins. These MAP’s will allow better detection of traumatic brain injuries and may increasingly find use in the future. Currently many different types of brain injuries are fairly difficult to detect even with sophisticated brain scanning. Subtle types of brain damage especially to the axons and dendrites of neurons can be difficult to spot. It wouldn’t show up as a gross morphology change on an MRI or CT scan. However these proteolytic proteins have the ability to detect more subtle forms of brain injury. They also may diagnose brain injury faster than other methods. This would allow the administration of treatment at a quicker rate. This could reduce the damaging after effects of a traumatic brain insult.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Brain Shrinkage Monday, Jul 28 2008 

You can read an interesting article about the possible effects of post traumatic stress disorder on the brain here.  This shows that too much stress can have a damaging impact on the brain and it is almost akin to having traumatic brain damage.

The yellow areas, Schuff explained during his presentation at the city’s Veterans Affairs Medical Center, showed where the hippocampus, which plays major roles in short-term memory and emotions, had atrophied.

“But we’re still in the infancy of neuroimaging,” Schuff cautioned later in his office. “Do you get PTSD because you have a small hippocampus? Or does a small hippocampus mean you’ll develop PTSD? That, we still don’t know.”

The finding that the hippocampus possibly shrinks due to PTSD is very similar to the findings in depressed patients. Patients who have major depression also tend to lose brain mass in the hippocampus over the course of their illness. Antidepressant drugs have been shown to increase neurogenesis in the hippocampus, so I would imagine they might be able to stop or reverse this process in PTSD patients.

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