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Mild brain damage can cause serious damage

Brain injuries are involved in approximately 30 percent of all injury deaths in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 2.8 million people a year are hospitalized, visit the emergency room or die because of a traumatic brain injury. While many studies have been conducted to evaluate moderate to severe brain trauma and the effects this damage has on peoples’ lives, little has been done on mild brain trauma.

This may be because until recently, there were no good screening devices that would show mild injury areas in the deep while matter of the brain. Traditional MRIs were unable to detect injuries located in this area of the brain. Diffusion tensor imaging, however, shows damaged while brain cells as discolored areas. This type of magnetic resonance imaging shows normal cells as structured and orderly. Yet, damaged cells will appear a different brightness. This enables doctors to tell which areas of the brain is injured and what type of effects the patient may have.  

Mild brain damage can cause long-lasting cognitive damage, as reported by a study published in Neurology. Researchers evaluated people with mild TBI at a 12-month follow up and found that while most patients had shown marked improvement in the brain, many still had significant damage. This mild damage often causes serious effects, such as trouble concentrating, focusing on tasks and remembering events. Patients may also have recurring headaches, tingling in the extremities and other issues that may affect their ability to work. By pin pointing the areas of damage, patients are able to receive customized therapy as soon as possible. This maximizes the chances of recovery.  

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