Head injuries due to blast trauma – such as what can happen to war fighters in combat – is different than head impact injuries. Currently, there are no preventive measures that specifically target Blast-induced traumatic brain injury.
However, researchers have now successfully tested the use of surfactants (poloxamers P188) to partially repair the damaged brain tissue due to blast trauma, according to an article about the research published in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering.
According to one of the authors, Dr. Michael Cho, researchers are still determining the differences and similarities between blast and impact trauma.
The two injuries were once thought to be different.
“The blast-induced incidents likely involve generation of transient vacuum during which cavitation (e.g., micron-size bubbles) may be formed and subsequently collapse with a significant pressure,” Cho said. “The potential location of microcavitation is usually the interstitial region where the acoustic impedance discontinuity exists and liquid provides the phase change for microbubble formation… Continue reading.
Today’s warfighters are outfitted with body armor strong enough to withstand shrapnel from a bomb or other explosive device. One debilitating threat from a blast, however, is a force they can’t see—the explosive shock wave itself.
“Shock waves travel faster than the speed of sound,” said Dr. Timothy Bentley, a program manager in the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Warfighter Performance Department. “Warfighters physically well protected from shrapnel aren’t protected from shock waves. This wave of energy can cause subtle yet damaging effects on the brain.”
To better understand how shock waves harm the brain and contribute to traumatic brain injury, ONR is supporting work by Dr. Michael Cho, chairman of the Bioengineering Department at the University of Texas at Arlington… Continue reading.
University of Texas at Arlington Bio Engineering Chair, Dr. Michael Cho is leading research efforts on the forefront of understanding brain injuries in hundreds of thousands of military veterans.
It’s all thanks to a $1.24 million dollar grant recently awarded by the office of Naval Research.
The specific injuries he is looking into are caused by shockwaves from explosions that create energy bubbles in a person’s brain. Those bubbles are so small they can’t be detected by modern technology. However, their effect is very destructive when those energy packed bubbles pop — killing surrounding brain cells. The side effects, Dr. Cho said include headaches, memory loss, deterioration of brain mass and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder… Continue reading.