Function Loss After Brain Injury Studied

LEIPZIG, Germany, March 30 (UPI) — A German study suggests loss of physical and psychological function after brain injury isn’t closely related to brain structure injuries, as had been thought.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Cognition and Neuro Sciences led by Rainer Scheid and D. Yves von Cramon said the loss of physical and psychological function after traumatic brain injury is, in Germany, more frequently caused by traffic accidents, falls or blows to the head than by strokes. And such loss of function is usually blamed on changes in brain structures.

But Scheid and von Cramon analyzed data from 320 patients treated in the Cognitive Neurology Outpatient Clinic at the University of Leipzig between 1996 and 2007. They investigated whether the imaging, clinical and neuropsychological findings were correlated.

They discovered the most frequent findings were contusions, microbleeds, and atrophy. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed no visible changes in 49 of the patients examined. And the scientists said their analysis failed to find any convincing correlations with the patients’ general condition or with their performance in neuropsychological tests.

However, nearly 15 percent of the patients suffered from post traumatic epilepsy and the scientists said they showed that was correlated with isolated brain contusions.

The research appears in the journal German Physician Sheet International.

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