Episode 2: Today, Kurt Reibling, COO of Kentucky Pain Associates and Scott Auerbach (CEO of MedTrak Diagnostics) discuss an exciting new process for diagnosing Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs). This is a game-changing collaboration and KPA is the exclusive, regional provider of this diagnostic testing. Whether you’re an injury attorney or family member of a recently injured person, you’ll want to listen to this episode.
MedTrak has been developing diagnostic testing for over 30 years. They selected Kentucky Pain Associates as its Kentucky, objective brain injury testing center. This is a natural complement to the services KPA already provides to its patients. Many of who, may be victims of brain trauma, which in some cases, went undiagnosed until now.
Working with Someone Who’s Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries are “ invisible injuries” and can be devastating. These often result from motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) and also workplace injuries. A TBI can also result from a fall or hit to the head. Later, we’ll discuss how this can happen without an actual impact to a person’s head.
In many situations, there is a triangle involved helping an injury victim. There’s the person, KPA and often an attorney handling the legal side on behalf of the client. This diagnostic capability can provide very strong objective evidence in support of an injury case or workers’ compensation claim.
MedTrak Diagnostics is located in Henderson, NV. Technology has enabled them to work with local providers, such as Kentucky Pain Associates, to administer the exams and diagnostic testing and the evaluation is sent to MedTrak. Once the evaluation is complete, an extensive medical report is created and provided to the patient and/or attorney handling the case.
The medical report serves 2 purposes. First, it helps the personal injury attorney to prove his/her case on behalf of the client. Second, the report helps the rehabilitation specialist to understand the dysfunctions in the patient’s brain and to focus on the specific problems resulting from the dysfunctions.
Proven Technology to Determine the Extent of Your Brain Injury
The technology has been in existence for 20 years or more. NASA made use of posturography (an integral part of the examination today). Videonystagmography (VNG) was actually created during the 1974s to 1984. Its predecessor is ENG electrode testing. The diagnostics have been proven and normalized over time. There are thousands of peer-reviewed research articles supporting the technology and diagnostics. Today, they offer valuable, objective insights into the injury itself. This technology is vital in detecting and diagnosing traumatic brain injuries.
MedTrak Diagnostics currently provides services to the US military when a service member is thought to have suffered a concussion. MedTrak currently has diagnostic equipment and testing centers in all 50 states.
Signs Your Family Member May Have a Traumatic Brain Injury
Often, it’s a family member who recognizes the symptoms of a TBI in their loved one. A patient may realize something’s wrong or different, but doesn’t actually equate it to a brain injury.
Some Common TBI Signs Include:
- Mood Swings
- Trouble Choosing the Right Words
- Memory Loss
- Changes in Sleep Patterns
- Slurred Speech
It’s important to understand someone can suffer a brain injury even without a blow to the head. The brain floats inside of the skull. A fall or other violent impact can cause the brain to slam against the inside of the skull, resulting in a brain injury.
Kentucky Pain Associates Utilizes 3 Tests to Help Diagnose Traumatic Brain Injuries:
- Videonystagmography (VNG)
- Neuro-Cognitive Test
How Is the Diagnostic Testing Different from Traditional Testing?
The Texas Medical Center and Baylor Medical School have developed research over 20 years. Scott helped them to develop a web portal to provide a computerized neuro-cognitive test. This is much different that an evaluation by a neuropsychologist who will observe the patient and provide a subjective opinion and report. The testing by KPA, in collaboration with MedTrak, provides objective findings based on the 20+ years research and a computer algorithm. There’s no subjectivity to it. An objective medical opinion can be much more accurate in diagnosing the extent of the brain injury.
The Risk of Second Impact Syndrome
If there’s been a brain injury, there could be bleeding in the brain or a fracture of the skull. Although many of them are classified as a mild brain injury. The cells of the nerves have been damaged. Another impact can cause the cells to die. If enough of the cells die, on a second impact, the injured person dies. This is what’s referred to as second impact syndrome.
An MRI can show structural damage to the brain. However, because many of these injuries result in a mild brain injury, these are metabolic injuries; not structural. These may not show up on an MRI. This is a reason for the inclusion of the testing now provided by KPA and MedTrak Diagnostics.
The Link Between Brain Trauma, Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Even 1 concussion makes you much more likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Brain trauma can also increase your risk of falling. This presents a significant change or limitation to the activities in which you could engage, prior to the sustaining the brain injury.
The University of Pennsylvania and the Perelman Medical School was part of a 25-year study. The results were recently published. Brain injury victims are between 125%-200% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease after having only 1 concussion.
The importance of properly diagnosing and treating a brain injury cannot be more important for the person who has sustained it. Now, Kentucky Pain Associates can assist in that process.
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LOUISVILLE: 222 South 1st Street, Suite 300, Louisville, KY 40202
ELIZABETHTOWN: 1107 Crowne Point Dr., Suite 100, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
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Feel Free to Contact Us via the website or by calling (502) 855-3919. We also provide a telemedicine option (video call) for people outside of those areas.
Remember, work injury or MVA? Think KPA!