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New technology shows promise regarding traumatic brain injury

One of the responsibilities of a Delaware physician is accurate diagnosis of an injury, disease or medical condition. Sometimes two different conditions will exhibit similar symptoms, so doctors will frequently utilize various forms of assistance, from other doctors' opinions to new forms of technology, in order to accurately diagnose. Recently, news reports have indicated that new technology may make it easier to diagnose traumatic brain injury.

In many cases, those suffering from traumatic brain injury will exhibit symptoms similar to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Making matters more difficult is the fact that both conditions can result from extremely traumatic incidents, such as being injured in an accident due to another's negligence or returning from war. Thus, it hasn't always been easy for doctors to diagnose PTSD and TBI.

However, a new study reveals that, when the human brain is scanned, PTSD and TBI do not appear similar, even though sufferers may show similar symptoms. The scanning technology is called single-photon emission computer tomography, or SPECT. The technique measures the flow of blood to particular areas of the brain. The scans reveal that individuals with TBI tend to show less activity in the following areas of the brain: the cerebellum, temporal lobes and prefrontal cortex. These regions control coordination of movement, formation of memories and self-control regarding behavior and mood.

Not surprisingly, those who suffer from TBI can face a daunting rehabilitation. For a person with TBI, everything from their ability to move their muscles to their capacity to control their moods may be in jeopardy. While technology can help diagnose this difficult condition, the brain damage caused by it can still significantly alter a person's life. Those who have experienced brain damage as the result of an accident caused by another may improve their outlook by discussing the incident with a brain injury attorney.

Source: Healthline, "Brain scan can tell PTSD apart from traumatic brain injury," R. Sam Barclay, July 11, 2015

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