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Distressing brain injury patients face walking difficulties even following revival

20 January 2010 One Comment

Technology.am(Jan 20, 2010) — Washington, Jan 20: A latest Canadian research suggests that locomotor deficits can still continue in people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) even if they appear to have improved completely.

traumatic_brain_injuryTo come up with their conclusion, a team led by Professor Bradford McFadyen from Université Laval compared mobility in 11 people who had suffered a moderate or severe TBI to 7 subjects of similar age and physical condition with no neurological problems.

It looked like the subjects in the “TBI” group can walk again with some even recurring to their regular activities at the time of the study.

Researchers took the subject to a special lab where the two groups of subjects had to walk a route on which researchers had positioned different obstacles and formed visual or auditory distractions.

Prof McFadyen said: “We required replicating real-life conditions in the laboratory where people have to move around and their brains are required to handle a number of tasks at the same time.”

It was seen that in straightforward situations with no obstacles or sensory distractions, the subjects in the two groups showed similar walking abilities.

However in the “TBI” group, speed dipped and reaction times rose in tests that had obstacles or sensory intrusion. Also, the consent of the subject’s foot over the obstruction was shorter for the “TBI” group.

Prof McFadyen said: “Our outcome put forward that even if victims of reasonable or severe TBI appear to have usually recovered their locomotor abilities, deficits can continue.

He added: “This could have consequences if the affected people work in multifaceted physical surroundings—a factory, for example—or engage in activities that are challenging in terms of locomotor skills, such as a sport.”

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