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New hope for brain injury patients

Researchers in Pennsylvania say they may have developed a new method for helping those victims of traumatic brain injury. A massive project funded through the same group that paid for the development of the Internet, DARPA, is leading to significant insights that could result in the creation of a “prosthetic brain.” Imagine if those who have suffered from serious brain injury could recover their memories with the implantation of a simple device! Scientists are already on track to achieving that, using technology that is currently in use for epileptic patients.

Experts say that a grid of electrodes placed in the brain would provide specific stimulation for regions of the brain that have been injured in a traumatic incident. Patients play memory games, during which researchers carefully map their brain patterns, which allows them to understand more about placing the electrodes. This process can be used to repair spatial memory and verbal memory, among other brain functions.

Experts say that the multi-million dollar project is, indeed, ambitious – one researcher calls it a “put a man on the moon” sort of experiment. Although hurdles to restoring memory are high for those with traumatic brain injury, the device is definitely worth pursuing because of the widespread issues associated with head trauma. The device is unlikely to hit the market anytime soon – largely because of approval concerns through the FDA – but there is now more hope for sufferers of TBA for the future of the past, held in their memories.

Victims who have suffered traumatic brain injury because of the actions of someone else deserve financial compensation so they can access such sophisticated treatment. This type of injury can be caused by a variety of mechanisms, including property liability incidents, medical malpractice and car accidents, among others. Civil court judgments against the at-fault party for victims’ medical expenses may help patients access the critical medical care to provide ongoing treatment for their injuries.

Source: Source: News Works, "Philadelphia researchers to create brain prosthesis to restore memory loss," Jessica McDonald, July 10, 2014

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