Serious car accidents can result in a number of long-lasting complications. Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most troubling. Even a mild traumatic brain injury can cause persistent headaches, dizziness, cognitive difficulties, mood changes, interrupted sleep and issues with sensory perception. As such, after a car accident, it is important to recognize the warning signs of a potential TBI and to seek prompt medical attention to address the injury.
Most car accident-related traumatic brain injuries are caused in one of two ways. The first occurs when the victim's head strikes an object within the vehicle, such as the steering wheel or window. The second occurs in whiplash-type accidents. Rapid acceleration and deceleration can cause the brain to move around inside the cranial cavity. In doing so, the brain can strike the inside of the skull, which in turn can cause traumatic injury.
Light therapy for TBI sleep disorders
Traumatic brain injuries can be hard to treat. However, TBI treatment is an emerging area of medicine, and progress is being made all the time. Recently, researchers at the Harvard Medical School reported on the results of a study which showed that bright light therapy could improve sleep and aid healing in patients with mild TBI.
The study involved patients who had a sleep disturbance that was linked with a recent traumatic brain injury. Participants underwent six weeks of therapy using blue wavelength light. At the end of the study, more than half of the participants reported better nighttime sleep quality and less daytime sleepiness.
In addition to improved sleep, participants also demonstrated increased activity in the region of the brain associated with higher-level cognitive functioning. They furthermore reported improvements in memory, mood, attention, information processing and executive functioning.
Given the success of their initial study, the researchers hope to expand the treatment to a larger number of patients. They say bright light therapy holds particular hope because it has the potential to improve quality of life for so many people. The study's lead author told Medscape Medical News that at least half of all TBI victims will experience some sort of sleep disturbance.
How an attorney can help
This is just one of the many new treatments that are available to help traumatic brain injury victims. However, because these treatments are so new, they are often expensive and are not well-known amongst all family practice physicians.
This is why it is so important for car accident victims to consult with a personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney will be able to assess the true cost of accident victims' future medical care and help fight for appropriate compensation to pay those bills. In addition, the attorney can connect victims with a network of expert medical professionals who can provide cutting-edge brain injury care.