Brain tsunamis: The after-shocks of head injuries
Most people in North Adams have probably heard the term traumatic brain injury. However, a lesser-known phenomenon, commonly called brain tsunami, is gaining more attention in the medical community. According to The National Law Review, doctors are now discovering that this condition not only occurs in TBI victims, but also in cases of short-term concussion, prompting further study by brain tsunami scientists.
Doctors have been following the progression of brain tsunamis for a while now and are only just now able to pinpoint the amount of harm that they can cause. Tsunami activity lasting from just a few days to over a year occurs in as many as 60 percent of patients needing TBI surgery. The name, brain tsunamis, reflects the nature of the condition wherein above normal electrical surges, much like tidal waves, course through the brain. When this happens, the brain experiences changes in blood flow, oxygen levels and brain chemistry balance.
Cincinnati.com reports that physicians involved in a study of brain tsunamis, hope the results will enable them to more accurately diagnose and track tsunami activity in the brain. They are also hopeful that data they glean from the study will assist them in developing a treatment to block the dangerous electrical waves. If the study into the after-shocks of TBI is successful, it could open new doors in the treatment of brain injuries that are not surgical candidates, as well.
A Defense Department grant of $4.7 million to the UC Medical Center will be shared among several research hospitals and universities including Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard University. The study plans to compare brain wave readings by surgically attaching electrodes directly to the brains of around 200 patients who are undergoing surgery for trauma. The outcome of this research bears watching for all those who are impacted in some way by traumatic brain injuries.