Medicine has made tremendous strides in the past several years in researching new treatments for a wide variety of illnesses and medical conditions. One area of medicine, however, has been difficult to fully understand — the effects of and treatments for head injury. There are many patients in Massachusetts and elsewhere who may benefit from some recent developments.
Massachusetts researchers from Tufts University have claimed to have been able to create a model of a portion of a brain. They worked to design a 3-D model of a section of brain tissue that they hope will mimic the reactions of a real brain during experiments. It is composed of silk proteins and gel composed of collagen that has been infused with neurons grown from rats.
While the scientists could not create a model of the entire brain, they have expressed the hope that the tool will allow them to study the neurophysiological processes that are impossible to study on a living brain. If the experiments are successful in allowing researchers to better understand how injuries and diseases harm the structures and functions of the brain, then new treatments and medications may provide doctors with new tools to aid their patients in recovering from diseases such as dementia as well as traumatic brain injuries. The researchers have only just begun their work of unraveling the mystery of how the brain functions on a cellular level and how it is harmed when it suffers an injury.
It may be years before enough information is gathered that may prove to be beneficial to actual patients. Victims who have suffered a head injury often have to make extreme adjustments in their lifestyles. While there is presently no cure for this type of injury, if the harm was inflicted as a result of negligence by a third party, then a personal injury suit could possibly result in monetary compensation that may provide a means to obtain the medical care that may be needed far into the future.
Source: techtimes.com, “Scientists create brain tissue in lab to aid head injury, dementia research“, Rhodi Lee, Aug. 12, 2014