American research suggests that traumatic brain injury is the beginning of an ongoing process that impacts multiple organ systems and may cause or accelerate life reducing diseases and disorders.

The researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston are calling for traumatic brain injury to be defined and managed as a chronic disease to ensure that patients receive appropriate care and that future research is directed at discovering therapies that may interrupt the disease processes months or even years after the initiating injury.

“All too often we see clients suffering from the after effects of brain trauma that can last long after the event that caused it”, said David Robinson, a solicitor at Thompsons Serious Injuries Unit. “This preliminary research backs up the case for full scale research in to the issue, which is something we have argued for, for some time”, David added.

The research found extensive evidence that brain trauma initiates a disease process that severely affects cognitive function, physiological processes and quality of life. These effects can prevent patients from fully re-entering society post-injury and may ultimately contribute to death months or years later.

The research appears in the current issue of ‘The Journal of Neurotrauma’ and is a literature review examining 25 years of research on the effects of brain injury.

‘Traumatic Brain Injury: A Disease Process, Not an Event’ Brent E. Masel, Douglas S. DeWitt. Journal of Neurotrauma. August 2010, 27(8): 1529-1540. doi:10.1089/neu.2010.1358.

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