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Brain injuries may still be evident even after symptoms subside

North Carolina patients who suffered a severe concussion may be interested to learn that the brain injury can still be evident even after the symptoms subside. According to a new study, the evidence of a brain injury can be seen using diffusion tensor imaging, or DTI, which is a specialized MRI brain scan.

One of the study authors stated that the results of the study indicated that concussions have two forms of recovery. Mental symptoms, including memory and thinking, recover more quickly than the actual physiological injuries. Unfortunately, CT or MRI scans do not pick up these subtle injuries, which may indicate that the brain may not have actually finished healing even though the symptoms are no longer there.

The study revealed that the injury could still be seen in patients who had suffered a mild concussion four months prior. Unfortunately, this phenomenon could not be explained by the study. One of the authors theorized that the abnormalities may be caused by cytoxic edema, the accumulation of water around injured brain cells, or reactive gliosis, the altercation to the shape of glial cells in the brain caused by the injury.

The significance of the results of this study could concern athletes or other active individuals who are at risk for suffering concussions. Those who suffer concussions may need a longer recovery time than the time it takes for the symptoms of the injury to go away.

Because a persisting brain injury may not be viewed using regular equipment, doctors or other hospital staff may fail to diagnose an ongoing brain injury. Those who suffer harm for a doctor's misdiagnosis may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in order to seek compensation for medical bills and even pain and suffering.

Source: Forbes, "After Symptoms Subside, Brain Injury Still Evident After Concussions", Robert Glatter, M.D., December 01, 2013

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