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How a simple smell test could help diagnose a brain injury

We regularly write about advancements in medical research on traumatic brain injury. TBI is often associated with returning war veterans and lawsuits against the NFL. But it is a type of injury that also affects millions of Americans per year, most of whom have no connection to the military or professional sports.

Thankfully, medical research on behalf of any group of brain injury victims can be helpful to all others. Medical research involving military personnel is also helping brain injury victims hurt in car crashes and other accidents. The results of a recently published study are a good example.

A team of military researchers recently reported that smell tests may be a quick and effective way to quickly identify patients who may have suffered a brain injury and require further testing. It has long been known that smell is the strongest sense tied to memory. Researchers found that soldiers who performed poorly in tests to identify certain smells were also likely to be suffering from acute traumatic brain injury.

Basic smell tests will have very useful applications in war zones, as they will help identify which soldiers need to be immediately airlifted to a facility to receive neuroimaging. And although non-combat applications are not immediately obvious, there is no doubt that this discovery will eventually be useful to the further understanding and treatment of brain injuries among civilians.

A traumatic brain injury can change your life in ways that most people cannot imagine. If your injuries were caused by someone else's negligence, seeking compensation from the at-fault party may be both necessary and appropriate. Please discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Source: University Herald, "Smell Test Could Predict Traumatic Brain Injury," March 21, 2015

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