New imaging technology helps Rhode Islanders struggling with mild TBI

Whether car accident victims are involved in fender benders or catastrophic motor vehicle collisions in Rhode Island, they may experience severe physical injuries as a result of the sudden impact. While medical professionals are able to easily identify broken bones and lacerations, there are other injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, may be harder to diagnose. Not only can brain injuries occur over a wide variety of situations, including motor vehicle accidents, slip-and-falls and workplace accidents, but they can range in severity, which can make them hard to diagnose in some patients. The longer a traumatic brain injury takes to identify and diagnose, the more damage it can potentially cause to an injured person.

New imaging devices can help traumatic brain injury victims

Although brain imaging technology, including magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography, are commonly used to identify traumatic brain injury, these tools may fail to detect milder brain injuries, as reported by the National Library of Medicine. In order to spot the signs of mild TBI, physicians must rely on the patient's account of how they are feeling. This can be difficult when many patients experiencing mild TBI may have difficulties explaining what they are going through.

New imaging devices have proven to be more successful at tracking changes in the brain's white matter over time, allowing physicians to identify brain injuries. This technology, known as diffusion tensor imaging, works much like an MRI. Using DTI, the white matter of the brain, which contains nerve fibers that connect different areas of the brain together, appears to be consistent in healthy brain tissue. In injured patients, however, DTI will illuminate damaged tissue, helping physicians to pinpoint mild traumatic brain injury.

Not only is DTI successful at diagnosing mild TBI, but it can also be used to research the effectiveness of certain brain treatments by showing how these therapies work in the brain. Diffusion tensor imaging is able to give doctors a more comprehensive understanding of mild brain injuries and how they can change the brain's structure in some patients.

Mild traumatic brain injury

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents were the third most common cause of traumatic brain injuries from 2006 to 2010. Even small motor vehicle collisions in Rhode Island can cause symptoms of minor traumatic brain injury that may not be noticeable for several months. During this time, considerable damage can be done to the brain, in some cases resulting in permanent damage. Symptoms may also vary from person to person, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Mild TBI may invoke headaches, fatigue, blurred vision, trouble concentrating and even slight memory loss among other symptoms.

Contact an attorney

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reported that 15 to 20 percent of people who suffer with mild traumatic brain injury will not recover from their injuries. If you have been involved in a minor or major car accident, and are experiencing the symptoms or been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, you may want to seek legal assistance from a personal injury attorney in Rhode Island.