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New study points to inflammation as underlying factor in concussion symptoms

For concussion and brain injury patients, obtaining prompt and appropriate medical treatment is crucial. We now know that even a minor concussion can have serious medical consequences, especially if there are subsequent concussions before the initial injury heals.

Sometimes medical professionals have difficulty in identifying concussions because conventional imaging scans do not always provide obvious indications of brain injury, even when the patient is experiencing common symptoms of concussion. Researchers at McMaster University have made what they believe is a breakthrough discovery that could change how concussions are identified and treated.

According to the researchers, inflammation is common to virtually every symptom of post-concussion syndromes, and offering treatment of inflammation could help an untold number of brain injury patients.

With symptoms such as cognitive impairment, dizziness, headaches, depression, anxiety, insomnia and irritability, post-concussion syndrome can affect every aspect of a person's life. Dr. Michel Rathbone, who co-authored the new paper, said that inflammation is an underlying factor in all of those symptoms. He proposes that, instead of using the term "concussion," physicians and scientists begin using the more unifying term of "post-inflammatory brain syndromes or PIBS."

You can read more about the study in a recent article in PsychCentral.

The initial effects of brain injury -- for example, loss of consciousness, numbness and disorientation -- may clear up in the days following the accident, but long-term effects are also possible. If you have suffered brain injury because of someone else's negligence, then do not hesitate to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your legal options for receiving compensation for your short- and long-term medical care and rehabilitation.

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