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Enlarged left atrium linked to vascular brain injuries

Anyone in Nevada with a brain injury is likely to benefit from early treatment. One way to increase the odds of providing the right treatment as quickly as possible is to develop a better understanding of the nature of brain injuries. This is why researchers have been looking at enlargement of the left atrium, referred to as left atrial diameter, or LAD. The atrium is part of the ventricular system in the brain. What researchers found was a link to vascular brain injuries.

Specifically, researchers evaluated MRIs to develop a better understanding of the relationship between LAD and vascular brain injury. An association was discovered between LAD and small, localized areas of dead tissue caused by an insufficient blood supply, called brain infarcts. However, there is no clear link between LAD and white matter disease known as leukoaraiosis, which is common in stroke patients.

Researchers evaluated data from nearly 6,000 participants 65 and older from four states and followed up to document patient outcomes. Nearly 30 percent of the participants had significant infarcts. The majority of these subjects had an enlarged left atrium. The same connection wasn't found with subjects who had less prevalent areas of dead tissue in their brains.

While researchers note the need for additional research to positively establish a link between LAD and the risk for incident brain infarcts, the findings are significant. If the connection is confirmed, doctors may be able to proactively recommend anticoagulant agents for patients with left atrial enlargement to reduce the severity of certain types of brain injuries.

When a head injury occurs that may involve some type of negligence, an attorney may be able to take steps on behalf of an injured party to determine if this might be the case. Such actions typically include looking at the initial diagnosis and the treatments that were suggested. If signs of a more extensive injury were overlooked and a delay in treatment negatively affected a patient's health and quality of life, a lawyer may be able to secure appropriate compensation for medical care, loss of an ability to earn an income, and pain and suffering.

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