Researchers have recently discovered that the recovery time for children with brain injuries often has less to do with the severity of the trauma to the head and more to do with the extent of the damage to the coating around the nerves of the cranium. In fact, children and teens who showed myelin sheath damage consistently scored lower on cognitive tests than subjects who had not suffered any type of head injury.
The myelin sheath is a protective covering that encompasses the vast network of nerves that work within the brain. It is comprised of a fatty substance that augments nerve signals that are transmitted throughout the cranium. Damage to the outer coating can disrupt electrical signals and impair learning and other cognitive functions.
Scientists are hopeful that physicians will soon be able to track biomarkers in patients who have suffered seriously blows to the head and more accurately predict rehabilitation in those individuals. The ability to identify quantifiable indicators on an MRI or CT scan will be a valuable tool for doctors who are monitoring their patients’ progress. Over time, prolonged studies of large groups of patients’ brain scans that are compiled throughout the recovery process should allow physicians to be able make reasonable predictions of individuals’ outcomes.
People whose children are suffering from long-term or permanent problems as a result of a brain injury that was caused by the negligent act of another may be able to receive compensation for their losses. A personal injury lawyer can help pursue an action against the responsible party that would seek damages that could include hospital bills, rehabilitation expenses and the cost of long-term care.