A Unique TBI Study According to a study in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, even a mild traumatic brain injury can impair thinking and memory skills.
This study is different than most because it focuses on mild brain injuries, like those that might occur as a result of falling off of a bicycle or being involved in a minor car accident.
Most studies thus far have focused on moderate to severe brain injuries, rather than mild injuries. These types of brain injuries, though mild, can have lasting effects, according to the study.
The study included 44 participants with mild traumatic brain injuries and nine people with moderate traumatic brain injuries. They were compared to 33 people who had no brain injuries. All participants took thinking and memory skills tests and were also given a certain type of MRI scan that detects damage to brain cells simultaneously.
Results Show Lasting Damage
When the scans of injured participants were compared to those with no injuries, the TBI victims’ scans showed damage and disruption to nerve axons that make up the white matter in the brain and allow cells to transmit messages to each other.
A year later, 23 of these original participants with injuries were tested again, and the results showed:
The scores on the thinking and memory tests remained the same for both injured and uninjured participants, but there were still areas of brain damage present in people with injuries.
Good and Bad News
The good news is this shows that thinking skills recovered over time. The areas of damage seen a year later were not as widespread throughout the brain, but instead more concentrated in certain areas of the brain. This may indicate that the brain is compensating for the injuries.
It is extremely important to seek medical attention if you feel you may have suffered any type of brain injury. Just because you may feel ok minutes after a head injury occurs doesn’t necessarily mean that you haven’t suffered some type of brain damage. This damage could have lasting effects.
Story Source: American Academy of Neurology (AAN)