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Mild brain injuries can have long-lasting effects

Whether people have been involved in a motor vehicle collision or have been in a slip-and-fall accident, they may have received a traumatic brain injury. When the head experiences a forceful impact, it may make the brain reverberate within the hard, skull cavity. The soft brain tissue may bruise, bleed and become inflamed as a result of the damage. Depending on the severity of the force and what part of the brain was injured, the damage can have long lasting cognitive effects on a person’s life. Studies show that this is even true for people suffering from mild brain damage.

Research published in the journal Neurology indicated that through the use of diffusion tensor imaging, physicians are able to better spot the signs of mild brain damage that occurs within the brain’s white matter. The white matter is responsible for language processing and memory development, among other things. The study looked at participants one year following the initial injury to follow the rate of improvement people experienced with their mild brain trauma. At the 12-month checkup, some patients’ brain damage showed marked improvement, as the brain rewired itself to compensate for the damage. Others, however, still showed marked dysfunction, which could affect their ability to work, focus, plan, write and interact with others.

Getting medical attention as soon as possible following a brain injury is crucial. It is important that people are able to identify the signs of mild brain trauma, such as headaches, nausea, tingling in the extremities, loss of concentration, fatigue and sensory deficits so that they can seek medical help if needed. 

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