Experimental Brain Injury Treatment Could Help Former NFL Players, Others
An experimental drug initially formulated to treat depression has shown an interesting and totally unexpected side effect in animal trials: the ability to regenerate brain tissue. The breakthrough – one of the most promising possible treatments for the long-term effects of serious traumatic brain injuries – has drawn the attention of the National Football League Alumni Association (NFLAA). The organization that has been seeking such a treatment for years for the benefit of retired players now dealing with the real-life consequences of multiple brain traumas and other injuries suffered on the gridiron.
There is still a long road ahead of researchers interested in a possible partnership with the NFLAA, since any such study would need government approval, but the discovery offers hope to those suffering that one day there could be a cure.
Opening a dialogue
Discussion about traumatic brain injuries is much more prevalent today than in years past, and much of that discussion has been centered on myriad former professional athletes dealing with what is known as “cumulative brain trauma,” where the brain has suffered irreparable damage because of repeated high velocity contact with other players, safety equipment and the playing field. Football players have been in the spotlight due to several high-profile suicides of former players, as well as numerous players now dealing with degenerative brain disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Thousands of former footballers have recently brought a class action lawsuit against the NFL to address the issue of brain injuries.
Simply put, a traumatic brain injury is one where the brain suffers damage, either due to a blow to the head or penetration of the skull by an object. The blanket term “traumatic brain injury” encompasses a wide range of possible injuries, everything from mild concussions caused by a slip and fall, to the destruction of entire segments of the brain from bullet wounds.
According to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control, there are nearly two million traumatic brain injuries suffered in America annually. Furthermore, TBIs are a contributing factor to more than 30 percent of all injury-related fatalities each year.
Even relatively “mild” brain injuries can have a lasting impact. For example, suffering a single concussion makes it much more likely that serious harm could occur if there is another blow to the head. Brain injuries can manifest in many different ways, which is part of what makes it so difficult to diagnose and treat them; they share symptoms with a wide array of unrelated medical conditions, any one of which might be blamed instead.
Mild brain injuries like concussions, for example, can cause:
– Brief loss of consciousness
– Short-term memory disruption
– Altered sense of smell or taste
– Mood swings
– Sleep disturbances
More serious TBIs can result in symptoms similar to those seen in a mild TBI, but often exaggerated; if a person with a concussion gets a “headache,” a person with a serious TBI could be characterized as having a “migraine.” The symptoms are comparable in some ways, but are heightened depending on the severity of the injury.
Have you suffered a traumatic brain injury? Tragically lost a loved one who suffered a TBI? After medical attention, consult an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to learn more about your legal rights and options you may have to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other related expenses.