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Immune System May Do Harm After Traumatic Brain Injury

A strong immune system is a good way to ward off common diseases and avoid infections after injuries or surgeries. But a new study suggests that the immune system may be doing more harm than good after a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

It is well known among brain injury experts that TBI is really the result of two separate injuries: the initial impact (like a car accident), and the subsequent swelling, lack of oxygen, and inflammation in the brain which further damages nerve cells. After a blow to the head, the lymph nodes flood the brain with immune defenses including T-cells which can put pressure on the nerve cells and cause further injury.

But a new study suggests that when the immune systems of mice were suppressed, using a drug labeled VG1177, there was less of this “lymphocyte expansion” and the mice suffered less serious brain injury than mice whose immune systems were fully functioning.

Dr. Richard Tobin, PhD, the head researcher on the project says:

“This research has important implications for contact sports involving all ages, military trauma, and accident victims. We are encouraged that VG1177 may be an example of a new class of agents that affect the immune system to improve the outcome of traumatic brain injuries.”

These secondary injuries are why it is so important for traumatic brain injuries to be properly identified and treated as early as possible. If left untreated, the pressure on the victim’s brain can cause significantly more damage than the original injury. This can leave the victim facing years of rehabilitation that may have been avoided with early detection.

The brain injury experts at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan, work with accident victims and their families. Michigan’s no-fault law allows TBI victims to get the very best treatment, and David Christensen will fight the insurance companies to make sure the medical and rehabilitative expenses are paid for. If you know someone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact Christensen Law for a free consultation today.