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Research links genes to brain injury risk

Traumatic brain injuries can impact the lives of victims of any number of accidents—from car crashes to sports injuries to military-related injuries, among others. Brain injuries can be caused by any trauma to the head, such as a sudden blow. Why some blows to the head result in brain injuries and others do not has long eluded scientists. But, new research seems to indicate that some people are more susceptible to suffering brain injuries due to their genes.

Two types of genes are being researched: those that are critical for attention and memory recall after an injury and those that work to help repair brain cells in the aftermath of a brain injury. The genes being studied may also be linked to Alzheimer’s disease. These genes encode for the protein production that has been linked to how fast a brain is able to bounce back from a head blow.

The research was driven by an interest in brain injuries suffered by athletes and soldiers, but as mentioned above, it could have implications for those who suffer brain injuries in all types of accidents. While the research is currently in a very early phase, the scientists hope that it could lead to a blood test that will help individuals learn about their genetic predispositions to concussion and head trauma. This would help people here in Connecticut make informed decisions about things such as signing up to play football or entering the military.

As it stands, the treatment options for a brain injury are limited. Early medical evaluation and treatment, however, can be critical. It is important to seek medical attention after suffering a concussion or blow to the head. It can also be wise to talk to a personal injury attorney about your options. It may be possible to obtain compensation for your medical and rehabilitative expenses as well as other costs.

Source: Washington Post, “Finding a link between genes and brain injury: Are some people predisposed to trauma?,” Eric Niiler, May 5, 2014

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