Damage to the brain on a cellular level occurs during a concussion or other type of head injury. This irreversible damage does not occur immediately after an accident or incident but instead begins in the hours following the incident.
Study Findings Indicate a Short Window to Act to Limit Irreversible Damage
The study, conducted by Brown University’s School of Engineering, used high-resolution video technology to take a close look at a rat’s brain cell post-concussion. The video tracked what happened to the cell in the 24 hours following a concussion.
A rat’s brain cell is a good stand-in for a human brain cell and allows the researchers to see what happens when following a concussion-causing blow to the head.
What the researchers saw in the video was little observable damage to the cell in the first few hours. Only after five or six hours did the devastating, irreversible damage begin to occur. The structure of the cell began to change, and it began to die.
These Findings May Make It Possible to Intervene More Effectively in Human Patients Who Suffered Traumatic Brain Injuries
Watching the damage occur to the rat’s brain cell taught the researchers that there is time to intervene before brain cells begin to die. There may be several hours to offer treatment to try and prevent this cell death.
Cells Die on the Inside First
Damage to the brain on a cellular level occurs from the inside first. These cells die from the inside out, triggered by enzymes that destroy the cell. These enzymes do not activate for several hours after impact. Once they activate, they “enlarge” the zone of injury. If scientists can figure out how to stop these enzymes or limit their destructive power, they may be able to stop some of the irreversible damage that occurs to the human brain during a traumatic brain injury.
Now that scientists better understand the window they have to act, they can come up with ways to put the brakes on the damage. While there is not yet an answer on how to best make use of this window, theories include inducing hypothermia to cool down the tissue and stop the damage in its tracks.
Newsome Melton Helps Brain Injury Survivors Pursue Compensation
At Newsome Melton, our personal injury team can handle your brain injury case. Our brain injury lawyers have fought to protect our clients’ rights for more than 20 years and can pursue a traumatic brain injury settlement for you and your family. We will conduct a thorough investigation, identify the liable party or parties, prove their negligence, and pursue the compensation you deserve.
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