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New devices could lead to more accurate brain injury treatments

When a person experiences a brain injury, they might fully recover or they could experience serious side effects. The most serious brain injuries might make it difficult for doctors to treat patients. Sometimes patients are in comas after a brain injury, not able to communicate or interact with the environment around them.

When a person can't respond to stimuli, it can be difficult for doctors to accurately diagnose the level of the person's injury and provide correct treatment options. A new device and technique could help doctors assess improvements and make treatment options for patients with low levels of consciousness. The device uses strong magnetic stimulation to shake the person's entire brain, which allows them to measure information flow in a person's brain during these low-consciousness states.

When a person can't react to stimuli in any way, it can be very difficult to diagnose their condition. The researchers of this new technique tested it on 52 patients with varying levels of brain trauma and consciousness. They were able to distinguish through the study differences in people in vegetative states and minimally conscious states, which would have different treatments.

A brain injury can be overwhelming for a person and their family. Life-altering injuries might require a person to seek long-term care, and need future operations or intense medical care. An experienced personal injury attorney can help families in West Virginia understand their rights and advocate for their loved one. This might include seeking compensation to help the family pay for expensive medical help.

Source: Bloomberg, "Brain Shaking Technique Offers Measure of Consciousness," Makiko Kitamura, Aug. 14, 2013

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