Individuals diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) show symptoms 5 years on.
Researchers with the American Defense Department concluded that there are significant and continued symptoms in a high proportion of individuals who suffer TBI in combat even after 5 years of recovery. The US government has authorized $37 million to be spent in a 15 year study to fully assess long term brain damage.
This study will have remarkable implications for civilian medicine as well, helping doctors to develop new diagnosis methods and treatments for those with TBI from car accidents, sporting injuries, and slip and falls. With established treatment guidelines and modalities some insurance claims may become simplified in the longer term as more accurate assessments and benchmarks for damage can be established.
The long term effects of TBI include cognitive and emotional impairment, and can place great pressure on both the patient and their support network.
Researchers are also currently developing multiple scanning systems including MRI and diffusion tensor imaging to offer insights into brain microstructures that are otherwise very difficult to examine in living patients.