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New study reveals link between brain injury and infarctions

A study conducted by Sentient NeuroCare Services has revealed new information about traumatic brain injuries. According to the report, mild to severe vasospasm is seen in some victims of brain injury. This condition is associated with subarachnoid hemorrhages and it can cause certain areas of tissue to die due to a decreased supply of blood. Researchers believe that these factors should be monitored and could lead to conditional differences in care for patients.

The study used data from service members of the U.S. military that sustained traumatic brain injuries while on duty. Information from 122 consecutive patients at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center retrieved by Sentient NeuroCare Services revealed high rates of intracranial hypertension and cerebral vasospasm. These conditions were revealed through the use of trans cranial Doppler ultrasound, something that is considered by medical workers to be just one part of the care required to assess and address a brain injury.

The patient data used in the study was taken from October 2008 to November 2012. According to the information, the average time between injury and admission to the treatment center was 6.7 days and the average age of the patient was 26.1 years old. By using TCD, physicians revealed mild, moderate and severe vasospasm of the anterior circulation vessels in a surprising number of patients: 71 percent showed signs of mild vasospasm, 42 percent showed signs of moderate and 16 percent showed signs of severe.

If brain injuries can cause vasospasm, they may be able to cause infarctions - something that can cause a stroke. Researchers said that if treatment of the condition can decrease any chances of brain injury leading to stroke, then they believe that military and civilian medical staff should monitor for vasospasm throughout the care of a patient. This would apply to anyone who has sustained a brain injury on the job, as some in Ohio have in the past.

Source: Medpage Today, "Study: Check Brain Blood Flow in TBI," Todd Neale, Feb. 7, 2013

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