Because brain injuries can have such severe and catastrophic effects on the lives of victims in Nevada and across the country, scientists are constantly investigating new treatment potentials that could offer positive hope to victims and their families. In a study released by University of Pennsylvania researchers, they indicate that molecules that address the clumping of certain proteins could help to create better, more effective treatment for brain injury.
As these proteins clump together, they form structures called amyloid plaques, which are closely associated with cognitive decline and neurological problems. The development of amyloid plaques is one of the consequences that follow brain injuries and diseases. At the same time, scientists found that certain brain molecules, called NAA or N-acetylaspartate, decrease following brain injuries. These molecules have been used in the past as a marker to assess the likelihood of disease. However, these researchers found that the NAA molecules inhibit the development of amyloid plaques by preventing the protein fibers involved from locking together.
The scientists compared NAA to a type of “antifreeze” in the brain that can stop or even potentially reverse the locking of protein fibers after brain injuries that lead to long-term damage. NAA is an amino acid found in the brain and one of the most naturally abundant. However, MRI scans after traumatic brain injuries show an approximate reduction of 20 percent in NAA concentration. While scientists have explored a range of potential options to unlock amyloid plaques and prevent clumping, NAA-based therapies may provide new opportunities for treatment.
Brain injury can come with lifelong consequences with a need for ongoing medical care, health support and treatment. When a brain injury is caused by another’s negligent or dangerous behavior, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help victims seek compensation to help enable them to continue their lives and receive the treatment they need.