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Study: Treating Severe Traumatic Brain Injury With Stem Cells Shows Promise

by John Gomez | Last Updated: November 9, 2016
Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Researchers have studied the brain intensely in recent years.  We have learned a lot with regards to recognizing warning signs for traumatic brain injuries.  The medical research community has taken positive steps towards diagnosing more cases of brain trauma.  Scientists have also moved forward with regards to treating head injuries successfully.  Humanity continues, however, to struggle with treating severe brain trauma.  Generally speaking, people who suffer major brain injuries are forced to deal with years of challenges.  Some patients and their families struggle for the rest of their lives.  The results of a new study could someday change all of that.  The study found that treating a severe traumatic brain injury in adult patients with stem cells showed promising results.  Below is an overview of a development that could bring hope to a lot of people around the world.

About the Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Study

The study appears in a recent issue of the journal Stem Cells.  Those interested in reading the abstract of the study can find it here.  Researchers at the University of Texas Health Memorial Hermann Hospital completed the analysis.  Patients with severe traumatic brain injury between the ages of 18 and 55 served as subjects for the study.  These subjects had no other serious injuries and they did not suffer from an irreversible brain injury.

The researchers harvested mononuclear stem cells from the subjects’ bone marrow.  They then divided the subjects into five groups of five.  Three of the groups were given injections of the stem cells in differing intensities and two others served as controls.  The subjects received the stem cell transplants within 48 hours of suffering a severe traumatic brain injury.  The researchers took several different measurements of the subjects immediately after injection of the stem cells, one month after injection and six months after injection.

The study revealed that the injection of these stem cells into the bodies of the subjects helped to reduce the inflammation of the brain that is common when someone suffers a severe traumatic brain injury.  Specifically, the stem cells helped to protect the blood-brain barrier that is often harmed when a severe traumatic brain injury occurs.  The flow of oxygen to the brain slows down when this barrier is damaged.  This lack of oxygen can create serious and in some cases permanent damage in the brain tissue.  The conclusion called for additional funding to study the issue further.

Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics in the United States

We hope that this result leads to additional study and ultimately to tangible progress in the treatment of every severe traumatic brain injury.  If that occurs, a large number of people will face better situations than many of them do currently.  According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the CDC, the following statistics relate to traumatic brain injuries on an annual basis:

  • More than 2 million people who report to the emergency room are diagnosed with some form of traumatic brain injury.
  • Approximately 280,000 people remain hospitalized because of traumatic brain injuries.
  • More than 50,000 people die every year because of some sort of severe traumatic brain injury.
  • Men are more likely to require hospitalization for a traumatic brain injury than women.
  • Men are nearly three times as likely to die from a severe traumatic brain injury as women.
  • People 65 years old or older face the highest rate of hospitalization for traumatic brain injury.

It is indisputable that traumatic brain injuries are an enormous problem in the United States.  Based on recent statistical trends, it’s a problem that is getting worse despite the progress we are making.

How a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help

The experimental treatment detailed above is not yet available to anyone who suffers a severe traumatic brain injury.  Most people who are harmed in this manner face a very difficult situation that includes a long and tumultuous road to recovery.  Given the unknowns with regards to head trauma, injured people and their loved ones face an added measure of fear as they begin the battle to regain as much of their lives as possible before their injury occurred.

Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries also require financial wherewithal in order to obtain proper treatment.  This does not even include the enormous amount of loss incurred by someone suffers head trauma.  People forced into this position may lose substantial amounts because of:

  • Past medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Future lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship

It’s common for people who suffer a severe traumatic brain injury to face financial losses that are simply untenable.  If you or a loved one faces this type of difficulty, contact a traumatic brain injury lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys today to schedule a free initial consultation.


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