The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) is developing some promising forms of technology to combat traumatic brain injury in U.S. servicemen and servicewomen, Fox News reports.
According to the report: “The mildest form of such injury, known as a concussion, is a problem familiar with sports fans. But military medical experts often refer to traumatic brain injury, or TBI, as the signature injury from Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Fox News details the following technologies currently under development:
A neuroprotective drug called NNZ-2566, designed to improve the outcome following acute brain trauma.
The report characterizes it as a kind of helmet in pill form. A fighter could swallow the pill before the risk of head trauma even presents itself, and NNZ-2566 would protect the neurological tissue in the event of a blow to the head. It could also stimulate or improve healing and repair following such an injury.
A “drug cocktail” to treat TBI.
According to the report, the condition presents a very complicated challenge that will most likely require more than one treatment. The USAMRMC’s Neuroprotective Drug Combination Therapy Strategy Program is working to identify possible drug combinations that may improve TBI treatment and results.
A blood testing device for the field that could instantly identify neurological trauma.
The device works by taking a small amount of blood and analyzing it for biomarker levels specific to the brain. The results would be used in the field – in conjunction with trained medical evaluation — to assist diagnosis, triage and treatment.
Ongoing clinical trials are evaluating the use of biomarkers for diagnosing brain injury in mild, moderate, and severe TBI cases, including a 1,200-patient clinical trial being planned for final U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.
Binoculars that can identify TBI.
A common problem among military personnel who have suffered a brain injury is difficulty moving the eyes. In addition to an inability to easily, accurately, or rapidly move the eyes from one object to another, brain-injured patients may have trouble focusing on a single target.
To get around the logistical difficulty of testing every serviceman or servicewoman, AMRCC is developing an Automated Binocular Vision Tester that will check for brain injury.
Patients should consult their doctors if they believe they’ve sustained a brain injury. A consultation with a brain injury lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries.
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