12 Aug Traumatic Brain Injury Treated With Stem Cell Therapy
Traumatic brain injuries have become more relevant in the media due to the coverage of professional athletes. They are very serious injuries that can lead to comas, paralysis, and even death. Traumatic brain injury treatments are still being studied due to the complexities of the brain and neural network. Stem cell therapy is in its late clinical trial stages as a treatment for TBI. They can regenerate damaged brain cells and restore normal functioning.
What is Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injury often referred to as TBI, is most often an acute event similar to other injuries. Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. An object that penetrates brain tissue, such as a bullet or shattered piece of skull, also can cause traumatic brain injury. Mild traumatic brain injury may affect your brain cells temporarily. More serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding, and other physical damage to the brain. These injuries can result in long-term complications or death. A brain injury is different from a broken limb or punctured lung. An injury in these areas limit the use of a specific part of your body, but your personality and mental abilities remain unchanged.
Most often, these body structures heal and regain their previous function. Brain injuries do not heal like other injuries. Symptoms may appear right away or may not be present for days or weeks after the injury. One of the consequences of brain injury is that the person often does not realize that a brain injury has occurred. Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury can result in prolonged or permanent changes in a person’s state of consciousness, awareness, or responsiveness. They may go into a coma, vegetative state, have signs of dementia, or experience permanent brain death while their body still functions. These mental changes can come on suddenly, with little to no warning. It is important to report any signs of changes to a patient’s mental capacity.
Damage to the brain can also lead to seizures. Fluid may build up in the brain after repeated trauma, causing blood vessel damage and brain swelling. Signs of this include dizziness, headaches, and sensitivity to light. If damage has occurred to the base of the skull and brain motor functioning can be affected as well. This can lead to partial or full paralysis. Sometimes, any or several of these symptoms might linger for a few weeks to a few months after a traumatic brain injury. This is currently referred to as persistent post-concussive symptoms. When a combination of these symptoms lasts for an extended period of time, this is generally referred to as post-concussion syndrome.
How Can Traumatic Brain Injury Be Treated With Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cells may have the ability to regenerate damaged brain tissue. In patients with traumatic brain injury, some neural connections in the brain have been injured and died. Stem cells can be programmed to become neurons, then implanted into the brain where they continue to make healthy connections. This can repair damaged areas in the brains of TBI patients and restore some functions that they may have lost.