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What technologies are used to detect and treat brain injuries?



Brain injuries are a sensitive matter and can impact people in very different ways.

According to stats, there were 356,699 UK admissions to hospitals with an acquired brain injury between 2019 and 2020 alone.

The damage caused can vary drastically and as a result, so can the treatments.

Technological advances have been significant in helping to diagnose and treat such injuries over the years. Here’s how they can make a difference.

What is a brain injury?

The extent of the injury caused will depend on the impact had on the brain, as well as the area of the brain affected.

In turn, this can dictate the level of treatment and aftercare required.

The impacts can be life-changing, which is why many choose to work closely with brain injury solicitors who can help with claiming for compensation to pay for care.

On top of this, charities like The Brain Charity can provide support.

How do brain injuries occur?

Different types of brain injury can result in different implications. For example, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) tend to be caused by impact to the head.

Typically, they tend to have no long-term impacts, however some cases can be more severe.

Acquired brain injuries (ABIs) are caused after birth. Anything that impacts the normal function of the brain can result in this type of brain injury.

And finally, hypoxic brain injuries can be caused when the flow of oxygen is restricted. Even if this only happens for a few minutes, damage can be caused.

How are brain injuries diagnosed?

Often, the first step of diagnosis is a medical exam, often involving a neurological exam to assess things like motor function, sensory movement and reflexes.

Imaging tests can also be used. This might involve a CT scan to provide more detail than a regular X-Ray would. This is done by layering images taken around the head.

An MRI scan can also be used – this uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to create an image. High-quality images can be produced in a short amount of time with these diagnosis methods.

How are brain injuries treated?

Again, this depends on the type of brain injury incurred. Mild injuries might involve minimal treatment, such as rest or pain relief.

More significant injuries might require surgery to repair skull fractures, prevent bleeding in the brain or address a blood clot. This level of treatment is incredibly invasive for the patient.

How technology can change the future of brain injuries

Significant research is going into non-invasive treatments for brain injuries. Lightwave technology could open up opportunities in the world of brain injury technology.

Associate professor Thomas Sanderson and his research team have been investigating light-wave therapy to target mitochondria, influencing the molecular actions inside the cells when a brain injury occurs.

Valproic acid has also been investigated. This is typically used to treat people with epilepsy or psychiatric disorders, but there is potential for it to be used to help treat brain injuries in a non-invasive way.

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