As discussed in the previous post, new diagnostic tools are being developed with the aim of more effectively and reliably diagnosing traumatic brain injuries. With quicker and more reliable diagnoses, people with brain injuries can theoretically get quicker treatment and minimize the disabling effects of brain injuries.
There is a small window of time immediately following a brain injury when the brain is most able to heal and be rehabilitated. Even if this window is not missed, but especially if it is, people may remain permanently disabled from a brain injury.
New technologies in development offer better diagnostic prospects. One device, the InfraScanner, is a battery-powered, handheld tool intended for battlefield testing. When properly used, the device measures light wavelength to detect hematomas with 75 percent accuracy.
A second tool measures bloodstream markers that track TBIs. A third uses a radar-like system to compare measurements of physical movement in recently injured patients to prior measurements. Yet another test will measure changes in blood chemistry by charting the level of a certain protein released upon injury to the brain. When perfected, these new tools will cost less and offer greater accuracy.
By improving diagnostic tools, victims of TBI and their families are more likely to discover the medical reasons for adverse symptoms and achieve a more favorable prognosis. These new technologies will offer victims of brain trauma quicker access to essential medical treatment, rehabilitation and disability benefits.
Source: ProPublica, "New Technologies in the Works to Detect Brain Injuries," Lena Groeger, Jan. 5, 2012
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