Sports and motorcycle enthusiasts in New Mexico may want to take heed: Traditional understanding of brain injury has been turned on its head by new research out of Stanford University. The idea that injury to this delicate organ primarily originates in the severity of an impact is the thinking behind modern helmet design for sports and other activities. The researchers used the MRI scan to measure inter-cranial movement of the brain and found the traumatic impact is actually secondary to the force of the brain striking the inside of the skull.
Concussive injury to the brain causes cumulative damage, but one of the new findings is that even unnoticed brain injury can cause lasting damage and have a cumulative effect. From the MRI scans and statistical modeling, the brain was found to move at a rate of 5 hertz during common activities, like turning the head. Problems only appear once the rate of oscillation exceeds 15 hertz, regardless of impact.
At that point, even a helmeted football player will experience lasting brain damage that may or may not be revealed by obvious symptoms. About 1.7 million people are annually given the diagnosis of traumatic brain injury, but the data suggest that many more are injured without diagnosis, which could lead to future mild injuries having greater effects.
Doctors can and do fail to diagnose brain injury, and this can put the patient at greater risk of a worsened condition, permanent disability or future severe trauma. Hospital falls, automobile accidents and a variety of other circumstances may result in brain damage. For New Mexico residents who suspect a brain injury was caused by an act of negligence or that their injury was not diagnosed properly may be able to seek compensation for medical expenses and damages with the assistance of an experienced attorney.