People who experience traumatic brain injuries have various symptoms, and some face challenges with vertigo. Difficulties with vertigo perception can cause imbalance and nausea, along with other symptoms. Until now, doctors have not diagnosed the specific type of vertigo caused by traumatic brain injuries. Researchers at the Imperial College London have recognized a new neurological diagnosis called vestibular agnosia.
Vestibular Agnosia in Traumatic Brain Injury Patients
Researchers studied 37 patients who had experienced an acute traumatic brain injury. Of those, they diagnosed 15 with vestibular agnosia, a medical condition that results in imbalance and a loss of vertigo perception. The researchers also discovered that patients with vestibular agnosia have more severe problems with their balance than traumatic brain injury patients without vestibular agnosia. Likewise, patients diagnosed with vestibular agnosia are less likely to experience dizziness daily. As a result, doctors are seven times more likely to miss balance problems when a traumatic brain injury patient has vestibular agnosia.
These researchers advocate for the medical community to update its current guidelines regarding vestibular agnosia. They think that doctors should include laboratory tests and screening for patients with traumatic brain injuries. The sooner doctors diagnose vestibular agnosia, the better they can manage the symptoms at an earlier stage. Patients with vestibular agnosia are more likely to fall frequently, affecting their mental and physical well-being.
Frequent falls also make it difficult for patients to return to work after their treatment. Depending on the type of work the patient does, he or she may need to quit and find alternate employment that requires additional training. For example, if a patient worked in the construction industry, he or she likely cannot return to that industry if doctors cannot find a way to prevent frequent falls. Patients who fall often require frequent readmission to hospitals and long-term facilities, which can cause financial hardships and make it difficult to engage in gainful employment.
The Importance of a Quick Diagnosis
Diagnosing and quickly treating vestibular agnosia can help patients return to work sooner and prevent falls, assaults, and traffic incidents. Suffering from imbalance is one of the major challenges faced by those with traumatic brain injuries. Frequent falls can have devastating effects on a patient’s professional and personal life, and they can result in more severe injuries.
When the guidelines are updated, doctors will be more likely to correctly diagnose patients with traumatic brain injuries. For example, if a patient comes in and does not complain of dizziness, doctors could incorrectly assume that the patient does not have vestibular agnosia and fall to treat the patient correctly. Researchers are still investigating the precise causes of vestibular agnosia, but doctors can more adequately treat patients at risk of falling when they provide correct diagnoses.
Contact a Missouri TBI Lawyer Today
If your loved one has experienced a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced traumatic brain injury lawyers at Greg’s Injury Law today to schedule your free initial consultation.