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Virginia Researchers Aim to Aid Diagnoses of TBI

Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System are exploring two new approaches to improving diagnoses of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The research is possible through a $6 million grant from the Department of Defense (DOD).

The first project is a handheld ultrasound system that can measure tissue stiffness. The device builds on earlier research examining viscoelastic properties of injured tissues. The project is similar to other efforts in breast and liver ultrasound, but researchers need to find out if ultrasound can detect tissue stiffness associated with TBI.

The second project involves using PET probes to improve TBI diagnosis in settings where advanced imaging is available. Researchers hope the use of probes will help assess hypoxia, inflammation, apoptosis and necrosis to find out if they can help in the diagnosis.

If researchers are successful in their efforts, they would be able to equip doctors with better tools to manage TBI patients. In addition, being able to identify TBI more precisely may allow doctors to develop more therapies for TBI treatment.

TBI is the leading cause of death in people under age 35. It is responsible for 2.1 million injuries and 50,000 deaths each year in the United States. Contact a Virginia personal injury lawyer if you suffer from TBI caused by another person’s negligence. Julie Heiden is an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, and she can work with you and protect your rights.