Low-Tech Treatments Hold Most Hope for Cognitive Recovery After Brain Damage

Scientific American looks at some new research being conducted to aid cognitive recovery in victims of severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

It appears that some of the greatest benefits will come from improvements in low-tech quick-response treatments.

“We’re not bad at getting people to survive [severe TBI], but we’re worse at getting good cognitive recovery.”

The best hope for improved healing lies neither in new medications, which have been disappointing so far, nor in exotic fixes involving stem cells and neural regeneration, which are at least a decade away.

The biggest gains in cognitive recovery will likely result from advances in emergency room and intensive care practices such as slowing the brain’s metabolism by cooling the body, removing part of the skull to relieve intracranial pressure and injecting an experimental polymer “glue” to repair damaged brain cells.

via Mind Hacks