Over the last couple years, traumatic brain injuries have become an increasingly common topic of discussion. The NFL player class-action lawsuit in Pennsylvania court may be one of the biggest inspirations for this conversation. Whatever the case, this talk has placed a particular importance on expanding medical research to better understand and treat this disabling injury.
Brain injuries frequently limit a person’s motor skills and cognitive function. As such, many tasks that were simple before the injury can become nearly impossible afterward. In the wake of an accident that causes brain damage, injury victims may need to seek the assistance of Social Security disability insurance. Although these individuals may wish to continue working, the demands of maintaining full-time employment may just be too much.
According to estimates, “traumatic brain injury will be the third highest cause of death and disability in the world by 2020.” As this disability emerges as a more prominent medical issue, the hope is that treatment options will also expand.
Led by a researcher from the University of Pennsylvania, a team of scientists recently uncovered valuable information about what may cause traumatic brain injuries to be so devastating. Through their work, the researchers found that astrocytes, a type of brain cell, play a much larger role in signaling neuron cell death than previously thought. They also isolated a specific signaling mechanism that leads to a significant share of damage after an injury occurs. By targeting this specific brain signal, the scientists believe they will be able to reduce the effects of traumatic brain injury on cognitive abilities.
Although research such as this is definitely encouraging, the reality is that many Pittsburgh residents are suffering the effects of brain injuries right now. These individuals would likely benefit from understanding their ability to obtain SSD benefits to reduce the financial stress created by a long-term injury.
Source: Medical Xpress, “Researchers help find new therapeutic target for treating traumatic brain injury,” April 9, 2013