Traumatic Brain Injury Researcher Attempting to Turn Harmful Cells Against Themselves

Traumatic Brain Injury Researcher Attempting to Turn Harmful Cells Against Themselves

Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 24-May-2013

traumatic_brain_injury_featureIt really is remarkable to sit back and ponder just how far we've come in recent years with regards to the study of traumatic brain injuries.  When people were harmed in this way 20 or 30 years ago, the options for management and treatment were extremely limited.  That doesn't mean that survivors of traumatic brain injuries were not properly cared for, as for the most part they were - it just means that so much more is now possible that it's almost difficult to contemplate.  Different researchers have come up with different ideas, and some are nothing short of incredibly creative.

One creative researcher is currently working at Duke University, and his research is basically focusing on cells known as astrocytes.  These cells tend to exist in the brain and until now they have been seen as an inhibitor to normal brain function.  When someone suffers a brain injury, astrocytes tend to converge on that injury site and prevent much progress from being made with regards to the treatment that is being attempted.  Astrocytes can also lead to other problems in the brain that include tumors and general damage to the brain's tissue.  That's why to this point they have been seen more as an enemy than anything else.However, one professor has decided to see if astrocytes can actually be used to our advantage.  WACH TV in that area recently ran a profile on Dr. Chay Kuo, a researcher at Duke.  He has been working to farm astrocyte stem cells to see if they can be used to restore brain function as opposed to destroying it like fully-formed astrocytes do.  So far, he has discovered that astrocyte stem cells can stop the brain from bleeding after trauma is inflicted, but he is looking for additional solutions.

At this point, there is no telling what will happen with the study of astrocyte stem cells in terms of their ability to help heal traumatic brain injuries.  What is known is that this is a totally unique approach to the study of this ongoing problem.  If something is discovered, then it's possible that 1.7 million people every year could benefit from what is learned.  That's how many people in the United States suffer traumatic brain injuries on an annual basis.  Of those 1.7 million people, approximately 400,000 of them are injured badly enough that they face the real possibility of long-term disability.

We have been representing people as traumatic brain injury lawyers for decades, and we have the perspective necessary to understand just how important this type of progress is for people facing this difficult and in some cases never-ending battle.  No one knows what one thing may lead to the ability to reverse the damage done by this sort of harm, but it could actually be several different things.  If you or someone you love has suffered in this manner, contact the Scarlett Law Group today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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