Injured Brain Extra Vulnerable to New Brain Injuries
It is sometimes the case that a person who sustained a mild traumatic brain injury receives a second one before healing from the first. When this happens is the ultimate outcome worse than if the first MTBI had healed? Yes says recent research on rats by UCLA neuroscientists Mayumi Prins, Daya Alexander, Christopher Giza and David Hovda. The reason is that MTBI (like other other forms of TBI) impairs glucose metabolism by brain cells leaving them in a weakened condition. A second brain injury while glucose metabolism is impaired leaves brain cells less able to withstand the new injury and is more damaging – leading to a worse outcome.
This information is important for somone who suffered two MTBIs days or weeks apart and who sues two different defendants for contributing to the final outcome of her two brain injuries. Even if the traumatic force from the second accident was seemingly minor it could have a major impact on the plaintiff’s ultimate outcome because of a prior brain injury close in time.