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The role genes play in traumatic brain injury recovery

There are very few injuries that are more frightening than those to the brain. The brain can be resilient and recover after even some of the worst injuries, or something as minor as a concussion can drastically alter a person's personality, mood and behavior for life. And how do physicians determine how to treat or even what kind of traumatic brain injury an individual has suffered? Mostly by waiting to see what kind of damage has been done.

There are many different ways that someone in Pittsburgh can injure his or her brain, several of which are complete and utter accidents. Others, however, are the direct result of someone else's negligence or carelessness. Someone could have been speeding and caused a car accident, injuring his or her passanger. A store could fail to warn patrons that the floor is slippery after being cleaned, causing someone to fall. A doctor could fail to monitor his or her patient, depriving the patient's brain of oxygen. When these kinds of incidents happen, the person with the traumatic brain injury can often file a personal injury lawsuit.

These lawsuits can help to cover the medical costs of care and  the expenses of rehabilitation and therapy. Now, reserachers believe they have found a way to better determine just what kind of care will be needed following a traumatic brain injury.

According to a new study, a single gene may be an indicator of greater susceptability to brain damage following an injury. Individuals with valine incorporated into their brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein may need greater care and resources following a brain injury than individuals with a combination of valine and methionine or those with just methionine. The research is still somewhat in its early stages, but it could revolutionize traumatic brain injury care.

Source: FOX News, “Differences in a single gene may influence recovery from traumatic brain injury,” Loren Grush, Feb. 27, 2014

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