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New technology may help with detecting brain injury

Brain injuries can take a toll on the ability to recall information or understand new things. As a result, it can have a drastically negative effect on an individual's overall quality of life. However, new technology that is currently being developed specifically for soldiers may soon help medical professionals to detect if individuals have suffered a serious brain injury. While use of this technology is said to be some 18 months away, it may ultimately be helpful in the diagnosis and treatment of some brain injuries in West Virginia and across the United States.

The system is called a Blast Load Assessment Sense and Test, or BLAST. The sensors are inserted in a soldier's body armor and helmet. When an explosion takes place and impacts the soldier, the technology can measure shock pressure and then share this information by use of a scanner. 

The portable system can easily be combined with a high-technology neurological tool so that medical staff can determine if a soldier is capable of continuing to work. The ultimate goal of the creators of the system is to enable medical professionals to determine who requires precautionary attention, based on whether they are displaying signs of brain injury. These kinds of technologies are considered game changers in the fight against traumatic brain injury, though it remains to be see if they are applicable to other brain injury scenarios -- such as athletes in contact sports. 

In some cases, a person's brain injury is caused by another party. For instance, a property owner in West Virginia may have neglected to remove debris that ended up causing a person to slip, fall and strike his head against the ground. In addition, a negligent driver might cause a motor vehicle accident that results in a brain injury for another motorist. In such cases, the brain injury victim may decide to file a personal injury claim against the reportedly at-fault party, seeking monetary damages that -- if awarded -- may help the individual to cover his or her medical costs and other losses.

Source:, "Smart body armour could soon detect soldiers' brain injuries", Conor Allison, Jan. 16, 2017

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