One of the frequent consequences of a truck wreck, when there are survivors, is a brain injury. As a result I have been very active in learning all I can about this frequently invisible, and incredibly devastating, injury. One of my friends, Randy Rozek in Wisconsin, recently brought an article to my attention and I wanted to make sure you had a chance to see it. Understanding the mechanisms of brain injury is a critical aspect of being a good trucking lawyer. Randy posted this on his legal blog, and I thank him for bringing it to my attention:
A new study published in the highly-regarded Journal of Neurotrauma establishes organic brain changes, even in cases of a single mild traumatic brain injury. The study entitled “The Use of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in the Subacute Evaluation of Athletes Recovering from Single and Multiple Mild Traumatic Brain Injury” used advanced imaging to analyze changes in the brain following TBIs. Magnetic Resonance Spectoscopy (MRS) is an advanced imaging technique considered a compliment to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While MRI forms anatomic images from the signal of hydrogen protons, MRS uses the same information to establish the concentration of brain metabolites, such as N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), choline (Cho), and creatine (Cr). MRS can be beneficial in the diagnosis of certain brain disorders and creatine deficiency disorders.
The new study looked at the concentration of certain brain metabolites in specific areas of the brain following single and multiple brain injuries. The primary focus of the study was the genu and splenium areas within the corpus collosum. 20 normal volunteers and 28 mild brain injured student athletes recovering from mild TBI were selected for the study. The TBI group was categorized based upon the number of mild TBI’s and time since injury. The results of the imaging study were astounding.
Decreased concentrations of N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), choline (Cho), and creatine (Cr) were seen in the genu of the corpus collosum, but not in the splenium of the corpus collosum, regardless of the number of TBI’s suffered by the individual. Interestingly, individuals recovering from their first mild TBI showed the most significant changes in NAA/Cho and NAA/Cr ratios. Since all individuals were still experiencing symptoms of mild TBI, the amount of time since the TBI to the date the imaging was performed was not a significant factor determining the ratio of brain metabolites. The authors did note a correlation between number of TBI’s and the length of symptomatology, confirming the multiple concussion effect.