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Traumatic brain injury research addresses psychiatric symptoms

A blow to a person's head in West Virginia can cause an injury to the brain that has long-term consequences. Patients who suffer traumatic brain injury often suffer ongoing health problems -- for example, depression or attention deficit disorder. However, not much is known about how these types of symptoms are triggered for some injury victims or how to treat them.

Recently, scientists produced an animal model that can reproduce the chronic psychiatric effects of brain injury. They found that the drug amphetamine might help to reduce the symptoms in rats. This is the first time that such an animal model has been produced by scientists. In the past, scientists were able to replicate physical brain injuries but struggled to develop models of cognitive and psychiatric symptoms that are long lasting.

After suffering an injury to the brain, a patient's recovery is based on several factors, such as the extent and site of the cell damage. Other factors are the amount of inflammation as well as the differences among patients, such as their education levels. With ongoing research, scientists may be able to find an effective way of treating this type of injury, along with the physical and psychiatric symptoms that come with it.

Traumatic brain injury sometimes is the result of another person's negligence behind the wheel of a motor vehicle or a business owner's failure to properly maintain his or her property, for example. Fortunately, a person whose brain has suffered such an injury in West Virginia may have the right to file a personal injury claim, seeking damages. A damage award in a successfully litigated case may help to cover medical costs and other expenses related to the brain injury.

Source:, "Amphetamine boosts rats' recovery from brain injuries", Jyoti Madhusoodanan, Sept. 14, 2016

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