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Research suggest new therapies for brain injury patients

For those of us who grew up with encyclopedias and phones that were tethered to the wall, advancements in scientific knowledge over the course of the last few decades are truly astounding. Computer technology has led to a vast array of technological advances in the field of medicine. One recently announced project brings hope to Colorado patients who have lost function due to a serious brain injury.

Researchers have developed technology that uses the human tongue to stimulate neural pathways to the brain. Patients are given an electrode array that is placed on the tongue. That device provides a 20 to 30 minute pattern of stimulation therapy, which is matched with cognitive, physical or occupational exercises.

Each exercise corresponds to a unique pattern of tongue stimulation. Researchers believe that this pairing stimulates the brain to form new neural pathways, which can help patients regain function that was previously lost due to brain injury or illnesses such as multiple sclerosis. Even more promising, the neural pathways appear to remain active even after the stimulation ends, suggesting that the therapy can have lasting effects.

For Colorado brain injury patients who were injured as a result of the negligence of another party, it is imperative that every effort is made to recover damages associated with that event. The ability to obtain breakthrough forms of technology relies on having the ability to pay for such treatment. Obtaining funding through a successfully litigated personal injury lawsuit can help a family afford the best treatment options available, thereby increasing the quality of life for the brain-injured individual.

Source: The North Jefferson News, "Can nerve endings in the tongue help us treat traumatic brain injury?" Jason Bittel, Feb. 27, 2013

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