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Advances in concussion diagnosis

Many people in Ontario suffer from concussions each year, whether from playing sports or due to accidents. These injuries are referred to as invisible because it is difficult to see them using common medical scanning equipment. Canadian researchers, however, have recently announced new tests that have the potential to show both the injury as well as how the brain heals over time.

Researchers with the Alberta Children’s Hospital are studying how melatonin works for children who have suffered from concussions and the associated symptoms for longer than a month. They then use transcranial magnetic stimulation, MRIs and cognitive testing to develop a four-dimensional image that shows the brain and its functional ability. This helps researchers to pinpoint the area of the injury and monitor improvement over time.

A team of researchers from Florida working at Orlando Health have developed a blood test that they believe can show when a person has suffered a concussion. The test looks for the presence of a protein that is released when a person suffers a brain injury. One of the issues facing doctors is that concussions, especially in children, do not always show the same symptoms, according to a physiotherapist at the Toronto Sports Medicine Specialists clinic. Having new ways to diagnose concussions accurately could thus help improve the treatment and prognosis of brain-injured people.

Brain injuries can be devastating, both for the people who suffer from them as well as their loved ones. In some cases, a brain injury may leave a person with a lifelong disability requiring round-the-clock care. When such an injury is caused in an accident due to the negligence of another person, the injured victim may want to consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine the best method of seeking compensation from the at-fault party for the losses that have been sustained.

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