Thursday, August 29, 2013

What Happens to Brain 24 Hours after Injury?

Generally, most studies regarding brain injuries and concussions focus on long-term effects, and probably unintentionally overlooking short-term effects to the brain.

Incidentally, on a new study published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, it observed what happens to the brain during the first 24 hours following a concussion.

The said research was conducted by a professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Thomas Hammeke, Ph.D., together with several researchers from Cleveland Clinic, St. Mary’s Hospital, University of North Carolina, Franklin College and Marshfield Clinic.

During the research, the group observed 12 high school football players with concussions and some 12 high school football players without concussions. Subsequently, the researchers found out that in the first 13 hours after a concussion, there are decreases in activity in certain regions of the right hemisphere of the brain. However, seven weeks after a concussion, they found out that there is more activity in the said region of the brain than in people without concussion.

"This hyperactivation may represent a compensatory brain response that mediates recovery. This is the first study to demonstrate that reversal in activation patterns, and that reversal matches the progression of symptoms from the time of the injury through clinical recovery," Hammeke said.

Also, the researchers observed that the participants who experienced concussions had cognitive symptoms, such as slowed reactions 13 hours after the concussion. Seven weeks after, the participants’ brain functioning abilities and reaction times went back to normal.

The researchers believe that their findings might help others understand what needs to be done to at least minimize the long-term effects of concussions.

Meanwhile, a Los Angeles injury attorney also believes that what the researchers have recently discovered is another milestone achieved in an aim to prevent the dreadful effect of head injury among athletes.