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Researchers identify drug that may help brain injury victims

A person in Philadelphia can suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in many different ways, whether it is a car accident, a sports injury or a fall on an icy sidewalk. Closed-skull TBIs can have a significant effect on a person's life. They can cause personality changes, language loss, disability or even death. What all TBIs have in common, however, is that the brain swelling that often follows can worsen the injury.

There may be promise for TBI victims in the future, however. Recent research has found that a medication known as Acetazolamide could be used to treat TBIs. According to researchers, Acetazolamide, an antiepileptic drug, stops the production of the protein that causes the swelling of brain cells. Even mild TBIs can have devastating effects, but these could be mitigated if the swelling of brain cells can be lessened.

On average, 1.7 million TBIs occur in the United States each year, but only around 70 percent of those suffering them will seek treatment in an emergency hospital. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aims to raise public awareness of the seriousness of TBIs, even mild TBIs. An estimated 510,000 TBIs go undetected each year.

This is promising news for the treatment of TBIs. Unfortunately, some people will suffer TBIs so damaging that they find they have suffered permanent damage. Sometimes this keeps the victim of the TBI from being able to work, or even being able to care for themselves altogether. When this happens the person suffering from the TBI may want to pursue Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. These benefits could be the lifeline needed for victims of TBIs to make ends meet when they cannot support themselves due to their injury.

Source: Digital Journal, "Traumatic brain injury promised pharmaceutical treatment," Karen Hardison, Dec. 8, 2016

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