Researchers Discover a New Path to the Brain When Brain Injuries Occur
A recent story, reported by CBS Chicago, showed that new research may help victims of traumatic brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can change a victim’s life forever. Victims often need to see a range of doctors such as neurologists, psychologists, physical therapists, speech therapists, vocational therapists, and many other health care providers. Many patients are never the same after the accident. Some can never work again. Others can work but at lower paying jobs.
TBIs range from mild to severe. Some patients lose consciousness. Many victims have difficulty thinking and remembering. It can be hard to focus. Mood swings and headaches are common. Patients with a severe TBI may lose the ability to use their legs or arms. Many victims suffer a lifetime of cognitive, emotional, and physical difficulties.
Vehicle accidents, falls from high heights such as scaffolds, and construction accidents are some of the known causes of a traumatic brain injury.
The scientific study
The study was led by Matthias Nahrendorf, and was conducted at two of Boston’s most prestigious medical schools – Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The medical researchers studied neutrophils which are “first responders’ for the immune system. When there’s inflammation, neutrophils come to the rescue. The study explored what happens when a patient has a stroke.
Bone marrow was then removed from the stroke patient’s skull or the legs. When tracked in mice, where the marrow was planted, the researchers discovered that more neutrophils came from the patients’ skulls than from their legs. Based on this result, Dr. Nahrendorf’s team decided to study how the neutrophils actually got to the patient’s brain. They explored many angles and surprisingly found that the neutrophils used tiny channels that connected the marrow directly with the outer lining of the brain.”
The discovery of the tiny tunnels was surprising, according to Dr. Francesca Bosetti, because it was previously thought immune cells traveled to the brain via the patient’s blood from their legs and arms. Dr. Bosetti is a physician at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland.
The small channels allow the neutrophils to get to the brain much faster than previously thought. Dr. Nahrendorf and his researchers are now exploring how else these tunnels might better human health.
We think this is an extraordinary breakthrough, but it might not help people who are suffering right now. That’s where we come in. At Cunningham & Mears, our Oklahoma City traumatic brain injury lawyers work aggressively to show your injures were due to the negligence of another. We then work with your treating doctors and independent doctors, when necessary, to help you get the best care possible and to show how life-changing your TBI is. To learn how to pursue your rights, contact our experienced and caring attorneys. You can make an appointment by calling our law office today at 405.212.9234 or by filling out our contact form.
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Ryan Y. Cunningham is a founding partner of Cunningham & Mears. Mr. Cunningham devotes his practice to protecting the rights of injured Oklahoma residents. In addition to assisting injured clients, Mr. Cunningham endeavors to improve personal injury representation by speaking on issues related to personal injury law to attorneys in continuing legal education courses and to law students. Learn More