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Traumatic brain injury may have genetic link

The idea of getting a concussion or experiencing some other level of brain trauma in West Virginia can be frightening. However, the idea that some people are more prone to suffering a traumatic brain injury may be even more unsettling. Researchers recently said that the genetic makeup of a person very well could play a role in how injured he or she may be when struck in the head.

The scientists essentially said that one's genes -- not necessarily the quantity of hits a person receives -- have more of a bearing on how bad his or her injuries end up being. This research remains in its beginning stages. However, researchers are striving to create a special blood test, one that eventually might enable an individual to choose whether to play football or to avoid contact sports, based on the individual's genetic disposition.

Scientists are moving forward with this idea because not much research has been done on genetics and its role in brain injuries. More efforts are being made to study how the human brain repairs itself. The genes that scientists are examining also may be linked to Alzheimer's disease.

Some genes being studied may offer clues regarding how to clean up brain cells that have been damaged, while other genes are essential for attention and memory. A brain injury is serious, as it can affect a person's ability to function both mentally and physically in addition to altering his or her emotions. This is why a person who has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to another individual's careless behavior -- for example, negligent driving in West Virginia -- has the right to file a personal injury claim against the person, which may lead to monetary relief.

Source: The Washington Post, "Finding a link between genes and brain injury: Are some people predisposed to trauma?", Eric Niiler, May 5, 2014

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