Diagnosing and Treating Traumatic Brain Injury

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Dr. Kathy Maupin and Brett Newcomb discuss the diagnosis and treatment of Traumatic Brain Injuries. Topics include the regulations on certain treatments, symptoms, and effects of TBIs.

This week, Brett Newcomb and I are continuing our discussion regarding Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs). When most people think about TBIs, they seem to focus on sports related issues. There has been a lot in the news lately about the NFL and injuries to professional athletes. However, High Schools and Colleges are also concerned with the number and type of brain injuries that kids are getting. They, too, are working with equipment manufacturers to make safer helmets and to determine safety rules and limits for young players.

But there are others who are experiencing concussive injuries. We have been a nation at war for over 13 years. Many of our combat veterans are suffering from the affects of accumulative concussive experiences from combat-related incidents. We are learning more about how concussions work because there are so many that must be treated.

Probably the most common cause of traumatic brain injury is falling. When an elderly person falls, they often experience concussions and develop problems with cognition, verbal memory, and physical balance issues. One side effect of accumulative brain injury is depression. Often, it is not included in the symptomatology because doctors do not seem to focus on the accumulated damage of a lifetime of falls and blows to the head as part of the issue. They tend to see victims of these injuries when they show up at the hospital as a result of a sudden traumatic blow or incident. But as a result of the accumulated and refocused concern, we are learning more about the cause, the treatment, and even the prevention of traumatic brain injuries.

Doctors are now more informed about personality changes, panic attacks and depression as side effects of brain injuries. They are learning more and better ways to help people recover from them or avoid them. Hormone replacement with testosterone and estradiol are components of the treatment of TBIs.

Please listen to our podcast to learn more about this timely and important topic. We are all potential victims of TBI and we need to know more about symptoms that are often misdiagnosed. Accurate diagnosis and treatment are particularly important in regard to this issue. It is also important that we as consumers stay informed. An example of the need for information and political persuasion is the relevance of using HGH to treat brain injuries and the reality that the government is currently reluctant to allow more liberal use of this hormone for healing TBI.