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MRIs Can Help Predict Long-Term Outcomes for Brain Injury Patients
Approximately 15% of persons, who have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury in an accident or fall, suffer long-term neurological symptoms like memory loss or lack of concentration. However, California brain injury lawyers find that it is difficult for doctors to identify exactly which patients will suffer from such long-term complications. New research seems to suggest that MRIs, and not CT scans, will be able to allow doctors to accurately identify the type of brain injury suffered.
A mild traumatic brain injury can be defined as a non-penetrating head injury that may be accompanied by loss of consciousness, or disorientation. However, very often, non-penetrating head injuries or concussions may not lead to loss of consciousness. But even when there is short term loss of consciousness, there may be other symptoms such as memory loss and diminished mental processing.
A clinical trial that was conducted by researchers at the University Of California San Francisco analyzed and tracked 135 patients who had suffered a mild brain injury. The doctors were surprised to find that out of least 99 patients who had clear CT scans, a quarter had focal lesions or sites of microscopic bleeding that showed up in the MRI scans. Using the information about this microscopic bleeding, doctors were able to pinpoint which of these patients would be likely to suffer long-term neurological complications.
The results of the study have been published in the journal Annals of Neurology, and the study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The results and findings of the study are very important, because these could help doctors identify patients who may need long-term interventions following brain injury treatment.