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Brain Injury: What Doctors and Researchers Have Learned

Brain Injury: What Doctors and Researchers Have Learned

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You know, there are certain things that we've learned that patients-- that we shouldn't do to patients. And there were times when people would either put patients flat after they were hurt with a brain injury. Now we know we put them up at a certain number of degrees to raise their head. Now we put monitors in the brain to control for intracranial pressure. Now we can actually determine whether somebody has a problem with blood flow into the brain. We couldn't do that years ago. People--even when I was in school I remember a time when CT scans were not available. Now we can not only have CT scans, we can do all kinds of imaging that gives us good prognosis and diagnosis and helps us to determine what sort of medication or what treatments to give to protect the brain to allow Mother Nature to do what she does best in terms of inducing recovery.

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There is always more to learn, but certain changes — from monitoring cranial pressure in the brain to having patients lie at an incline instead of flat — have increased recovery in patients post-injury.

See all videos with Dr. David Hovda.


Produced by Noel Gunther, Ashley Gilleland, and Brian King, BrainLine.

David A. Hovda, PhDDavid A. Hovda, PhD, David Hovda, PhD is the director of the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center. He is past president of the National Neurotrauma Society and past president of the International Neurotrauma Society.  He has served as chair of study sections for the National Institute for Neurological Disease and Stroke.

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