March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, with a slogan of #ChangeYourMind meant to help generate awareness about what has been labeled “the silent epidemic” by the International Brain Injury Association, due to the high dangers of misdiagnosis or missed diagnoses. As previously reported, traumatic brain injury (TBI) has a potential for grievous health and financial consequences. TBI is often a life-changing event, generating a range of symptoms and effects from mood changes and suicidal thoughts, all the way to vegetative states. The CDC estimates that TBI costs Americans $76 million per year.
While TBI can be a major life-changing event, progress has been made both in our ability to detect TBI, and to help mitigate the symptoms. Clinical trials are ongoing involving brain stimulating techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and transcranial doppler sonography (TCD) techniques. These techniques are being considered for both diagnostic and therapeutic applications. These techniques show promise with aiding in cortical reorganization and enabling functional restoration in TBI patients. Further research is needed in this area, as well as in general understanding of TBI. Public awareness is an important part not only of helping to prevent such serious injury, but in generating support for innovative new research to improve our diagnostic and therapeutic ability.
The US Department of Defense hconsiders TBI one of the leading causes of death in both civilian and military populations, and therefore has granted researchers at UC Davis a $4.5 million 3-year grant to develop “better, more precise treatments” for TBI where it occurs alongside other traumatic injuries.
Another innovative therapy with promising potential is hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT. Some traumatic brain injury patients have had successful results utilizing this therapy. HBOT has been demonstrated to have neuroprotective effects, which may contribute to healing damage from a TBI.
Unfortunately, there is no “silver bullet” treatment when it comes to TBI. As motor vehicle collisions are the second leading cause of TBI, minimizing risk factors by driving safely, soberly, and defensively, and always wearing a safety-belt, will help you reduce your chance of suffering a traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately, we can only control our own actions. The chance of being injured due to another person’s negligence can never be fully prevented.
If you or someone you love is a victim of traumatic brain injury caused by another person’s negligence, it’s critical that you get the right help, not only to find the best medical treatment possible, but also to protect your rights and fight for a financial recovery to help you mitigate the high costs of TBI. Furthermore, choosing an attorney who has experience with TBI, and who stays current in understanding of TBI symptoms, diagnostic capabilities, and treatments, may increase your chances of a better outcome after a traumatic brain injury. The experienced attorneys of The de Boisblanc Law Firm have won significant awards for accident victims who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, and stand ready and willing to assist you and your family in this difficult time.