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Study Links Concussions and Head Trauma to Devastating Brain Injury

New research has examined the lasting impact that concussions can have on the brain, including such side effects as memory loss, changes in personality and inability to concentrate – all red flags for potentially permanent brain injury. Most experts agree that repeated mild trauma to the brain in the form of concussions – commonly resulting …

New research has examined the lasting impact that concussions can have on the brain, including such side effects as memory loss, changes in personality and inability to concentrate – all red flags for potentially permanent brain injury. Most experts agree that repeated mild trauma to the brain in the form of concussions – commonly resulting from car accidents, falls or sports injuries – can result in a serious condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), identified by a gradual buildup of a brain protein called tau. Similar to Alzheimer’s patients, brain damage caused by concussions can result in the accumulation of tau in CTE cases, eventually forming deposits large enough to inhibit key brain functions like planning, learning and organization. If you have suffered a serious head injury in a car accident, slip and fall, or another incident in Oklahoma, contact our experienced attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center today to discuss your options for legal recourse.

Stages of Brain Damage Resulting from Head Trauma

Researchers involved in the latest study, published in the journal Brain, examined the brains of 68 deceased individuals with CTE in order to identify patterns in the way the disease develops. Study author Dr. Ann McKee, who has spent decades researching Alzheimer’s disease, decided to apply the same process of staging brains that she had become accustomed to in her Alzheimer’s work.

  • Stage 1 CTE: loss of attention, headaches and loss of concentration
  • Stage 2 CTE: explosive behavior, short-term memory loss and depression
  • Stage 3 CTE: cognitive impairment and trouble with basic functions
  • Stage 4 CTE: trouble speaking, symptoms of dementia and aggressive behavior

In the course of the study, McKee and the other researchers were able to observe a distinct pattern of where and how CTE progressed, identifying focal points where the injury to the brain appeared to begin. They found that once a head injury causes damage to the brain, a destructive chain of events is put in motion, even if the physical blows no longer occur. From starting points in the frontal lobe, damage to nerves and brain tissue radiates to other parts of the brain, until it eventually engulfs the majority of the organ and significantly impairs cognitive function. “Even if a person doesn’t get additional trauma, the disease progresses, like a lit fire,” said McKee. “The fire takes hold and continues to affect the brain with more lesions the longer the person lives.”

Our Reputable Attorneys Can Help

McKee is hopeful that the findings in the Brain study may lead to better detection of and treatment for CTE, possibly allowing doctors to prevent damage from spreading to the rest of the brain. Although preventing head injuries from incidents like slip and falls, car accidents and sports injuries may not be possible, doctors may be able to stop the permanent damage this physical trauma can cause in the future. If you were involved in a serious car accident or slip and fall accident in Oklahoma City, and you think you may have suffered a severe head injury, your first course of action – after receiving medical care – should be to contact our knowledgeable attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center. Our qualified lawyers have extensive experience protecting the legal rights of head injury victims, and can help you pursue the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries, current and future medical bills, missed time at work, and other damages related to the injury. Contact our Oklahoma City-based law firm today for legal help.

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