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Certain Signs and Symptoms of TBIs May Be Linked to Damaged White Matter

June 18th, 2015

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 2.5 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) each year. While these injuries can cause cognitive and physical impairments, they can also cause changes in mood and personality that can be just as harmful to victims’ personal and professional lives.

Two of the most common behavioral signs and symptoms of TBIs are depression and anxiety. Little is known as to why these changes occur, but a new study concludes that it may have to do with damage to the axons and white matter of the brain.

An article from the Pacific Standard explains that researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center examined the cases of 74 patients admitted to the hospital after suffering a TBI. The team studied participants’ brains using a unique MRI technique that can measure damage to the white matter of the brain.

Patient surveys showed that 32 of the participants were suffering from depression, while 18 had anxiety. MRI results indicated the white matter in the brains of patients who claimed to be depressed was damaged compared to those not suffering from depression. The damage may be interfering with the passing of information, which could lead to changes in mood and behavior.

While the team of researchers feel a larger sample group would provide more conclusive evidence, the North Carolina brain injury lawyers at HensonFuerst are hopeful that these discoveries can be used to improve diagnosis and treatment options available to brain injury victims.