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MRI imaging may give clues concerning brain injuries

It is estimated that between 1.8 and 3.8 million Americans will suffer from concussion symptoms each year. Individuals experiencing concussions often suffer from a condition known as vestibulopathy.  

The symptoms of vestibulopathy include visual problems, imbalance and dizziness. Besides impairment of daily life, these symptoms also increase the chances of subsequent injuries.

Vestibulopathy has created difficulties in treatment because until recently there has been no way to link vestibulopathy to a specific region of the brain. However, researchers have now found that magnetic resonance imaging techniques have revealed damaged areas of the brain for individuals who suffer from chronic dizziness following a concussion.

This is important in that it can speed up effective treatments for individuals suffering from concussions. Such imaging also provides physicians a better idea as to how long recover will take. For example, when injuries were located in the cerebellar area there was generally a lengthier recovery time.

The researchers hope they can more readily identify brain injures associated with concussion symptoms through such imaging. Also, this will allow researchers to more closely follow patients from the time of the concussion until they recover. Unfortunately there is no necessary uniformity when it comes to concussions. As one doctor stated, "Not ever case is the same, and we need to treat each patient differently."

As attorneys who have represented Arizona clients suffering from brain injuries, we also understand that symptoms of brain injuries are not always readily apparent. Figuring out the kinds of treatment these individuals need is complex so it is not always clear what kind of compensation victims of brain injuries will require. That is why care should be taken when trying these sorts of cases.

Source: Science Codex, "MRI pinpoints region of brain injury in some concussion patients," April 15, 2014

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