Molecular research explains neuron behavior after brain injuries

Constant agitation and uncontrollable spasms are often experienced by victims of traumatic brain injury accidents in Pennsylvania. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the injury, treatment may involve surgery, a medication plan and extensive physical therapy to overcome the involuntary muscle contractions and overall neurological upheaval. New research conducted by biomedical engineers from the University of North Carolina suggests that molecular damage is at the heart of the post-traumatic conditions experienced by patients who suffered brain injuries.

Researchers believe that damaged axons, which are tendrils that connect to neurons, could be the cause of erratic neurological functions in the wake of brain trauma. The synapses are cut short when axons are severed; in turn, neurons will continue to transmit signals and look for connections that are no longer there. In other words, neurons become desperately hyperactive, thus causing spasms, agitation and sudden pain.

By manipulating protein activity in an effort to control gene activity, researchers may be able to develop medications that will reduce neuron activity while axons are rebuilding themselves. The first step is to stimulate neurons to seek undamaged axons to establish synapses; this can be accomplished with retraining motor skills and participating in physical therapy. As research into axon regeneration continues; patients may be able to speed up their rehabilitation and lower the incidence of uncontrolled shaking and spasms.

Accidents that result in brain injury can result in exorbitant medical expenses, lost wages and extensive therapy sessions. In many cases, head injury accidents can cause permanent disability. Patients who suffer brain trauma due to accidents may wish to seek legal representation by a personal injury attorney who can investigate if negligence was a factor and if financial compensation can be obtained.