Worldwide study aims to diagnose brain injuries more accurately

Every brain injury is unique, making it difficult to diagnose accurately. Some symptoms appear immediately after the injury, but others aren’t noticeable for days or even weeks. Medical professionals participating in an international study are trying to find better ways to assess brain trauma and classify all of its variations.

Approximately 2 percent of the American population has a disability related to a traumatic brain injury. High profile cases involving professional athletes and war veterans have garnered nation attention, but the majority of brain injuries are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Researchers believe that better application of MRIs and biomarkers can help them more accurately diagnose brain injuries. The National Institute of Health has awarded more than $18 million dollars to 20 institutions in the United States to participate in the study. The University of Pittsburgh is one of those institutions and will play a large part in the U.S. portion of the study, which is being managed by the University of California, San Francisco. The worldwide study will also include 38 institutions and over 60 hospitals in Europe, as well as an undisclosed number of facilities in Canada. Researchers are expected to conclude their findings in five years.

Hopefully this study will be more productive than the smaller scale clinical trials that have been conducted in the past and yield solid results. Until then, patients who suffer a traumatic brain injury in an automobile accident, workplace accident or any other type of accident may not receive adequate care. If you believe that your brain injury was misdiagnosed and you endured more pain and suffering as a result of a doctor’s negligence, you may want to speak with an attorney regarding your legal options. 

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “University of Pittsburgh lands leading role in international brain injury study,” Joe Smydo, Oct. 22, 2013.