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How are mild brain injuries detected?

If you have ever been in a serious car accident, minor fender bender or hit your head after falling, you may have received a traumatic brain injury. In some instances, however, you may not have known that you injured an area of your soft brain tissue. While some people experience immediate effects of brain damage, others don’t notice the signs for days, weeks or even months after the accident occurred. Obtaining immediate medical attention is crucial to repairing the damage that has occurred in the brain. Although severe brain trauma causes the most significant brain damage, even mild brain damage can have long-lasting cognitive damage that can affect you for years to come.

Traditional screening devices used to diagnose moderate to severe brain trauma did not readily show damage that occurred in the white matter of the brain. This mild damage, however, affects key cognitive abilities, including the ability to process language and form memories. Researchers found that diffusion tensor imaging, a form of MRI, can now show physicians where this damage has occurred. Normal white tissue appears structured and orderly on the screening. The damaged areas show darker and pinpoint where the trauma has occurred.

Once brain trauma is diagnosed, the physician can develop a treatment plan based upon the unique circumstances of the case. Early treatment is key, as it helps to rewire the brain’s connections to compensate for the damage that has been done.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice. 

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