A new study on traumatic brain injury (TBI) is being conducted by the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, in conjunction with Joy Hirsch, professor at Columbia University. The study focuses on soldiers who have suffered a traumatic brain injury from roadside bombs. For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago brain injury lawyer, call Passen & Powell at (312) 527-4500.
The US Army study notes that the number of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) casualties and serious injuries has grown significantly in recent years, especially in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Often times, soldiers are unaware they have suffered a TBI, especially a mild brain injury. Other times, TBI is not properly diagnosed and treated and soldiers are sent back into active duty, placing their lives and the lives of others in even greater risk.
Therefore, with the stated goal of understanding the “neurophysiology that underlies the behavioral disabilities,” the study looks at pre and post-deployment functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). fMRI provides high resolution images of the brain, and measures the changes in blood flow related to neural activity in the brain to help identify active areas when patients are asked to perform specific cognitive, language and memory tasks. The results of the study will measure the extent of various levels of traumatic brain injury, monitor treatment and therapy, and prevent furthering brain injury by multiple IED blast exposures.
Traumatic brain injuries are serious injuries and can require life-long care. They are caused by many factors, such as car accidents, falls and lack of oxygen to the brain. They can also be the result of someone else’s negligence, so it is important to contact a top Chicago brain injury attorney.
One proposal from the study is to have soldiers undergo a fMRI scan before being deployed in order to provide a baseline comparison when they return. This is analogous to recent calls for high school football players to have baseline test done in order to better diagnose and assess concussions, which are a type of TBI. Since effects from TBIs may not be immediately noticed, such as changes in behavior, a baseline provides a measure to help identify and treat TBIs earlier, reducing the chance for life-long effects.
Another idea is to install sensors onto military vehicles to record information about a roadside bomb blast, such as magnitude and location. The data collected can be used to develop better treatments as well as safer vehicles.
For a Free Consultation with one of our Chicago brain injury attorneys, call Passen & Powell at (312) 527-4500.