There’s interesting news in the wind about a better way to treat
brain injuries. Thank the Navy for this exciting research.

While the results from the project the Navy is planning to work on over
the winter won’t be known for some time, the possibilities of their
research making a difference to those withtraumatic brain injuries is truly exciting. The Navy hopes this will also help combat veterans
handle any post-traumatic stress disorder. The ramifications this may
have for non-military folk may open a whole new vista of medical treatments
that would help accident victims.
Traumatic brain injury is a very real concern when people have been involved in an accident where
they have hit their head; no matter how inconsequential it may seem.

The initial idea behind this new computerized test is that it will eventually
act as a tool, in an arsenal of many other tools, to identify mild brain
injuries on location in the fighting theatre or other remote areas. The
intention is that if mild brain injuries are caught earlier, the wounded
may be allowed to recuperate and then return to battle.

Military personnel will have a thorough cognitive workup before they deploy,
designed to act as a baseline for any field applications later should
they sustain a head injury. The 20-minute evaluation was developed in
the early 1990s by ImPACT Applications to assess and track concussions
and subsequent patient recovery.

The workup is meant to be used as a companion tool, not to replace field
medics with hands-on experience. Former hospital corpsmen will get focused
training with the new program and will still do the physical exams and
health histories. Further to their usual jobs, they will also evaluate
wounded personnel for brain injuries, then complete a new assessment that
includes what the next step should be in their recovery; either rehabilitation
or evacuation. This new tool will also allow those with brain injuries
to be pulled off the battlefield to regroup and recoup, rather than try
to continue fighting with a
traumatic brain injury.

The whole key to this new method to detect brain injuries is that cognitive
testing will show subtle changes or injuries to the brain that could result
in reduced or impaired performance. Those with concussion may suffer from
headaches, ringing in the ears, dizziness, slower reaction times and short-term
memory loss.

While this might be something non-military people could experience without
too many consequences, the results of reaction timing impairment on the
battlefield could be deadly. Because many of changes in the brain after
a concussion – such as slower processing times – are not always
detectable or noticeable, this new assessment tool hopes to catch problems
sooner rather than later.

The number of mistakes a person could make as a result of a brain injury
could be reduced with this new procedure, because early identification
of a problem means they can get the treatment they need quicker. Even
with a 50 percent to 60 percent assessment of the extent of a brain injury,
this new tool is one more asset in diagnosing problems. The possibilities
for using this for accident victims is especially hopeful for those who
have been injured and know there is something wrong, but can’t pinpoint
what it is. Again, it could be used as a tool along with a wide range
of other methods to diagnose brain trauma. Earlier detection; earlier
treatment – a win-win situation for many.