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Mild traumatic brain injury (also known as TBI) including concussion, is a common neurological disorder which is receiving particular attention in the USA where an estimated 10-20% of soldiers returning from duty experience TBI.
Difficult to Diagnose
Diagnosing mild TBI is difficult, as symptoms tend to be non-specific and may have other causes. Symptoms include problems with vision, hearing, balance, emotions and thinking. As there are currently few reliable tools to identify mild TBI a recent US study used a type of MRI brain scanning called Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) to study 93 soldiers.
The study found that soldiers with TBI have measurable abnormalities in the white matter of their brains, compared to soldiers without TBI. The abnormalities also appear to be related to the severity of their injury and their cognitive deficits.
The soldiers with mild TBI had significantly more brain abnormalities than those without TBI and the difference was not due to age, time since injury, previous TBI or psychological problems, like depression. The number of abnormalities also reflected poorer performance in decision making and planning skills tests.
Interestingly the brains of civilians with mild TBI had even more white matter abnormalities than the military group.
Head Injury UK: Brain Injury Claim Experts
Whilst DTI scans are a promising tool for detecting and tracking mild TBI, the study concludes it was not large or specific enough to conclude that DTI detected abnormalities confirm TBI brain damage. Head Injury UK hopes that further research can help the many mild TBI victims. If you or someone you know, has suffered a brain injury or other serious injury due to someone else's fault, please contact Andy Shaw to see how we can help.
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