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Important concussion study begins

Ohio parents may have concerns about enrolling their children in sports leagues because of the increasing information about the dangers of brain injuries. Contact sports are especially risky settings in which people of various ages could suffer a concussion. Although protective equipment has become a cornerstone of safe sports participation, injuries still occur. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still report more than 2 million emergency room visits for TBI annually.

Several entities in Minnesota are working on research that will target the issue of brain injury with regard to the various presentations in patients taken to emergency departments. The study will follow patients for as long as one year after their discharge from ED to gather data. The goal of researchers involved in this project is to establish new protocol for evaluating TBI patients in the emergency setting. Testing will include imaging, cognitive assessments, eye tracking and blood work to identify signs of concussion at early stages. It is believed that early identification of problems could lead to better outcomes for affected patients.

The study will focus on approximately 1,000 patients to be selected from an estimated pool of 9,000 individuals. A wide range of ages will be evaluated, and severity of TBIs to be studied will range from mild to severe, including patients in a comatose state. The study is expected to be one of the largest focused on this area of interest.

An individual who was injured while participating in a sporting event or in an automobile could seem fine at first. However, TBI symptoms could worsen in the days following a head injury. Medical attention after such an injury could be important for assessing one's symptoms and condition. If serious problems develop that create long-term functional deficits or result in expensive medical care needs, there could be grounds for a personal injury case depending on the circumstances leading to the accident.

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