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Electrical stimulation could help brain injury patients

According to a study, a technique called deep brain stimulation could help people with traumatic brain injuries recover some independence. The research, which was published in the journal Neurosurgery, could improve outcomes for TBI patients in Pennsylvania and across the country.

There are over 80,000 new cases of TBI disability each year in the U.S. The condition can negatively impact a person's memory, decision making, problem solving, judgment and behavior. Currently, there are few treatment options available for TBI symptoms, but the lead author of the study says deep brain stimulation shows promise. DPS sends targeted electrical impulses to damaged areas of the brain using a surgically implanted electrode, extension wire and pulse generator.

For the study, Ohio State University researchers analyzed the outcomes of DPS in four patients who suffered brain injuries in car crashes. The patients were awake and alert but had difficulty performing daily tasks, including dressing, grooming and using the bathroom. After two years of DPS treatments, three of the four patients showed emotional and behavioral improvements. They also made significant gains in functional independence. DPS has no major risks or side effects and could be used to treat a wide range of brain injuries, including sports-related TBIs.

Big rig accidents are a common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Pennsylvania residents who suffer a brain injury in a truck crash caused by a negligent driver may benefit by discussing their case with an attorney. After reviewing the details of the case, an attorney may recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses.

Source: Health Day, "Can Brain 'Pacemaker' Improve Lives of Head Trauma Patients?," Don Rauf, Sept. 22, 2016

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