New California Brain Injury Research Focuses on Moderate Concussions

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in Encinitas, from mild TBIs like concussions to severe head trauma, can result in life-long disabilities and other limitations. According to a recent study at the University of California, Riverside, researchers have begun an initiative to focus on moderate concussions in order to gain a better understanding of the long-term effects of more serious concussions and the ways in which those brain injuries can result in other debilitating conditions. The results of the study may be able to help athletes who suffer repeat concussions, as well as other people who sustain moderate concussions in motor vehicle collisions, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, and recreational activities. 

Learning More About the UC Riverside Concussion Research

The new study, which will be based in a UC Riverside lab, will happen through a five-year renewable grant of more than $2.3 million, according to a UC Riverside press release. According to Viji Santhakumar, an associate professor of molecular, cell and systems biology who is leading the study, “we expect this research project will provide fundamental insights into how memory deficits and epilepsy develop after brain injury.” Santhakumar further explains how the research will “help us identify potential early therapies to prevent the development of epilepsy as well as memory and cognitive issues after brain injury.”

Santhakumar’s lab, which will house the study, engages in research on “how inflammatory responses after brain injury contribute to the creation of abnormally connected neurons, and whether this compromises critical memory processing functions.” As the press release notes, concussions are one form of traumatic brain injury, and although many are not immediately life-threatening, especially in the short term, they do often impact a person’s brain function. Indeed, concussions, including mild and moderate concussions, can result in debilitating symptoms.

Understanding Moderate Concussions

What is a concussion, exactly, and what are the differences among mild, moderate, and severe concussions? The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) defines a concussion as “an injury to the brain that results in temporary loss of normal brain function,” which is “characterized by immediate transient alteration in brain function, including alteration of mental status or level of consciousness, that results from mechanical force or trauma.” Concussions can result from a “direct trauma to the head,” according to the AANS, as well as from “rapid acceleration-deceleration of the head, such as in whiplash injuries or blast injuries.”

Mild concussions, in most cases, have symptoms that recede shortly, usually within hours or days, and do not involve the injured person losing consciousness. Moderate concussions tend to be similar to mild concussions in type of symptoms, but the symptoms frequently last longer and are more severe. Such symptoms may include headaches, nausea, dizziness, memory loss, ringing in the ears, and even a temporary loss of consciousness. Severe TBIs frequently involve an extended loss of consciousness and much more severe symptoms that can, in some cases, be permanent. The UC Riverside study will focus largely on moderate concussions, but the research ultimately could have implications for different concussion classifications.

Contact an Encinitas Brain Injury Lawyer

If you need assistance filing a brain injury claim, one of our experienced Encinitas personal injury attorneys can assist you. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more.


See Related Blog Posts:

Kids With Concussions Need More Healing Time, Study Says

New Study Shows Higher Rates of Fall-Relates TBIs in the United States


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