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Test to diagnose brain injuries being developed

At first glance, the symptoms of TBI and PTSD look the same. Common symptoms include an inability to concentrate, anxiety, depression and fatigue. A traumatic brain injury occurs after a hit to the head while PTSD occurs after being put in a traumatic or stressful situation like combat. It is estimated that 8 million people suffer from PTSD while there are another 1.3 million in the United States with a TBI, including many in Ohio.

As the symptoms of each condition tend to overlap, it can be difficult to diagnose a patient with either even after an interview with a physician. There is currently no tool to make a specific determination for patients who present with symptoms. However, a research team is hoping to change that. Their method involves using spectroscopy to measure metabolites in the brain.

From there, a variety of algorithms are used to remove noise from the data and allow the doctor to make a more positive determination based on the data present. In data collected from a series of virtual biopsies, researchers have determined that those with TBI had less creatine as opposed to those who had PTSD. However, researchers say that more research is needed to make any definitive conclusions from the data that they have seen.

TBI victims often have to spend prolonged periods in the hospital and then in rehabilitation. In addition to the high medical expenses, many are unable to ever return to work. When such an injury has been caused by another person's negligence, such as a distracted or impaired driver, then an attorney for the victim might find it appropriate to seek compensation for these and other losses through a lawsuit filed against the at-fault party.

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