Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have very similar symptoms, which can make a definitive diagnosis complicated.
Given that about 1.7 million Americans sustain a new TBI each year and that at least 8.5 million Americans are currently living with PTSD, this can be a big problem when it comes to getting people the right treatments – especially considering that the treatments for one condition could be damaging for people with the other condition.
However, a recently published study in PLOS One is reporting that a special brain scan may be the key to distinguishing the two conditions and getting people the right treatments sooner.
A Closer Look at the Study
This study focused on about 20,000 participants who had a TBI, PTSD, both conditions or neither condition. The participants were then subjected to a special type of brain scan known as SPECT – single-photon emission computer tomography. This imaging scan evaluates the flow of blood to different areas of the brain.
What researchers found after analyzing the results of these scans were that:
- TBI and PTSD looked quite different in these brain scans despite the similarities in the symptoms patients displayed.
- For those with TBI, the scans indicated less activity in the regions of the brain that control mood, behavior, coordination and the formation of memories (i.e., the prefrontal cortex, the temporal lobes and the cerebellum).
- For those with PTSD, the scans indicated more activity in the regions of the brain that control emotions/how we process fear, sensory perception and information processing (i.e., the limbic system, the basal ganglia, the cerebellum, the prefrontal cortex, the temporal lobe, the occipital lobe and the parietal lobe).
Commenting on the findings of this study, lead researcher and study author Daniel Amen has stated:
Diagnosis and treatment for PTSD and TBI [are] often based on symptom clusters, and difficulties in differentiating between these brain disorders often arise due to the symptom overlap…Functional neuroimaging with SPECT may hold the key to differentiating these disorders effectively, eliminating the reliance on self-report data, diagnosis based on symptom clusters, and challenges to diagnosis.
What do you think about the findings of this study? Share your thoughts and comments with us on Facebook & Google+.
Contact a Denver Personal Injury Attorney at the Cederberg Law Firm
If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI or any injury as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, contact a Denver personal injury attorney at the Cederberg Law Firm to find out more about your best options for financial recovery.
For more than 35 years, our esteemed legal professionals have been successful at securing results and compensation for people who have been seriously injured by others’ negligent actions. This makes our trusted lawyers a formidable force that will not back down until you secure the maximum possible compensation for your injuries, expenses and losses.
To meet with us at no cost or obligation to you, call us at 303-499-0449 or email us using the form at the side of the screen. In addition to offering free initial consults and contingency fee options, our lawyers make hospital visits to ensure that you have access to the legal support you need – whenever you need it.