Xenon Gas May Help Prevent Cognitive Damage in Traumatic Brain Injury Cases

Brooks Schuelke, Esq.
Schuelke Law PLLC

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 13, 2019 – Traumatic brain injury researchers are constantly searching for new ways to help treat brain damage. Yet another discovery may help TBI victims – Xenon gas, a human anesthetic with few side effects.

A new study has shown promising results for preventing cognitive damage after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). While the study involves mice, it may well have significant ramifications for humans. Xenon gas, an anesthetic drug, apparently prevents long-term cognitive impairment, protects against brain tissue degeneration and increases life expectancy in the wake of a TBI in mice.

In fact, almost two years after a TBI, the animals were still performing well, an indicator that the gas may improve the human survival rate and help cognitive decline in humans. According to the study, the gas stopped the loss of brain cells in the hippocampus and reduced brain inflammation. The hippocampus is a small, curved brain formation that forms new memories and is associated with learning and emotions. Due to the fact that the human brain is lateralized and symmetrical, it actually has two hippocampi.

Statistically, the leading cause of disability and death in those under the age of 45 is attributed to TBIs. When someone sustains a primary brain injury, it is often followed by a secondary injury leading to physical and mental disabilities. TBI survivors also tend to have a shorter life expectancy and a higher risk of other forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s.

What makes Xenon gas work? While there is no definitive answer to that question yet, it appears that animal studies have resulted in the gas protecting and restoring the brain in the wake of lack of blood flow to the brain and areas of TBIs. It is speculated that Xenon works by limiting the stimulation of glutamate receptors.

“In order to see if the working scientific theory is valid, researchers need to replicate the studies with Xenon gas in humans. If those investigations turn out to be successful, the world of medicine may have another alternative to help those with TBI cope and get well,” said Austin traumatic brain injury attorney, Brooks Schuelke. “If you have sustained a TBI, talk to me and find out what your legal options are to recover compensation.”

Schuelke Law PLLC
3011 N. Lamar Blvd
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Austin, TX 78705
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    U.S. Military Vets Receive Innovative New Treatment for TBI – Stem Cells From Their Own Bodies

    Brooks Schuelke, Esq.
    Schuelke Law PLLC

    Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) May 27, 2019 – Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be devastating and deadly. Over the last two decades, research has progressed rapidly in finding solutions to help those with TBI. The latest discovery involves stem cell therapy using a patient’s own adipose stem cells. The 10-month therapy program started last spring.

    Although the stem cell therapy program is taking place outside of the United States, in Freeport, Bahamas, 24 highly decorated U.S. military veterans are taking part in the innovative new program with the hope the therapy improves healing of bone injuries, reduces pain and improves TBI outcomes. The participants provide the medical staff with pre-and post-treatment data.

    The Department of Defense (DOD) and the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) estimate 22 percent of all combat casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan are brain injuries. Sixty to 80 percent of soldiers with other blast injuries may also have traumatic brain injuries. Common causes of TBI include use of heavy weaponry, falls, motorcycle or other vehicle accidents and damage from various explosive devices.

    One treating doctor at the clinic, Dr. Matt Stiebel, is a noted orthopedic surgeon who hails from South Florida who is working with vets reporting mood disorders, chronic pain, short-term memory loss, headaches and trouble concentrating. The symptoms reported by the vets are being treated using regenerative cells from the patient’s own fat. By all reports, the results have been very encouraging.

    Liposuction begins the process of treatment, with each vet being treated with their own adipose tissue (fat), a process that gets rid of any risk of cell rejection. The process works by injecting mannitol, a sugar, in order to open the blood brain barrier. Next, patients are given an IV infusion of stem cells for up to 45-minutes. For orthopedic issues, the stem cells were injected to the specific joint involved.

    “This is an exciting and interesting new approach to treating TBI and other injuries that plague our military personnel on return from deployment. If it helps, it may a higher bar for the future,” said Austin, Texas TBI attorney, Brooks Schuelke.

    Schuelke Law PLLC
    3011 N. Lamar Blvd
    Ste. 200
    Austin, TX 78705
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      Traumatic Brain Injuries Are Not Just Sports Related

      Brooks Schuelke, Esq.
      Schuelke Law PLLC

      Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) May 10, 2019 – Typically, when people discuss traumatic brain injury, they are usually speaking about sporting events. However, it is not just athletes who sustain traumatic brain injuries.

      According to researchers in Phoenix, Arizona a recent study reveals traumatic brain injury (TBI) is rife among domestic violence survivors, and a great number of domestic violence victims are living in homeless shelters. “This particular study included 115 homeless women,” explained Austin traumatic brain injury attorney, Brooks Schuelke, “and 88 percent of this group had lost track of the number of blows to the head they had sustained.”

      According to the study, 81 percent of the women blacked out at least once, but not many sought treatment. Trauma study social worker and co-author of the study, Ashley Bridwell, says, “You start looking at these cases and you have to ask yourself . . . how many of these people were ‘failing’ as a result of the cognitive impairment.” This is an often-asked question when an athlete, at any level of accomplishment, starts having issues that seem to point to a brain injury and/or concussion.

      A TBI is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the result of a blow, jolt or bump to the head or a body hit that results in the brain twisting or bouncing around inside the skull, resulting in damaged brain cells and chemical changes in the brain.
      Bridwell and lead researcher Dr. Glynnis Zieman were not surprised by the results of their study because they see the results of concussions frequently. Through the study they wanted to educate others about this overlooked segment of society that is victim of physical abuse.

      Although brain injuries have received more attention due to stories about professional football players and combat veterans sustaining injuries, many people still do not understand the frequency and consequences of brain injuries. “Until fairly recently, few have thought much outside of the box about how brain injuries may affect others in our society,” added Schuelke.

      TBIs are far more common than many think. In fact, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) estimates 3.5 million children and adults struggle with a significant brain injury every year and that one in 60 Americans is coping with a traumatic brain injury disability. To find out more about brain injuries, visit BIAA.

      Some of the more common signs of a concussion include:
      * Loss of consciousness
      * Dizziness
      * Delayed response to questions
      * Headaches
      * Tinnitus
      * Vomiting
      * Slurred speech
      * Blurred vision
      * Nausea
      * Confusion

      “If you have sustained repetitive head concussions while playing sports, and feel that you were not adequately warned about the dangers of traumatic brain injuries, please do not hesitate to call my office. We can explain your legal rights to you and what would happen should you choose to file a lawsuit seeking damages,” said Schuelke.

      Schuelke Law PLLC
      3011 N. Lamar Blvd
      Ste. 200
      Austin, TX 78705
      Call (512) 476-4944


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        Jury Returns 30.1 Million Dollar Verdict Against Driver’s Wife After GEICO Only Offers 147K in Damages

        Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 21, 2019 – All things considered, Randy Willoughby has a good life. Every day he spends time with his wife, Kayliegh, and their beautiful two-year-old daughter. When he’s not playing with his daughter, Randy can be found feeding his horses, playing video games, or enjoying his passion for cooking. But through it all, Mr. Willoughby suffers from a severe traumatic brain injury caused by a 2012 car wreck.

        On November 2, 2012, Mr. Willoughby, 20 at the time, and his girlfriend, Kayliegh Lewis, were on their way to dinner when an elderly driver ran a four-way stop sign and T-boned Ms. Lewis’ vehicle on the passenger side where Mr. Willoughby was sitting. His injuries were severe, including a Grade III diffuse axonal brain injury.

        In 2013, he filed a lawsuit to recover the damages caused by the wreck against the driver of the vehicle that hit him, as well as the driver’s wife as a co-owner of the vehicle. (Under Florida law, a co-owner of a vehicle is vicariously liable for damages caused by the negligent use of that vehicle.) Both defendants were insured by GEICO.

        Mr. Willoughby eventually settled with the driver, thus leaving the driver’s wife the only defendant responsible for Mr. Willoughby’s damages. Before trial, GEICO prevented the driver’s wife and Mr. Willoughby from settling the case for $4.8 million. GEICO even refused to let the parties agree to any amount of damages more than $147k in past medical expenses. As a result, Mr. Willoughby and the driver’s wife proceeded to trial to obtain a determination of the full amount of Mr. Willoughby’s damages.

        On Friday, March 15, 2019, a Florida jury returned a verdict for $30.1 million in Mr. Willoughby’s favor, which included $7.2 million in economic and over $22.9 million in non-economic damages.

        Mr. Willoughby was represented by Swope, Rodante P.A. attorneys Brandon Cathey, Brent Steinberg and Daniel Greene. At trial, the defendant co-owner was represented by attorneys Jim Thompson and Troy Holland of the defense firm Goodis Thompson & Miller, P.A.

        About Swope, Rodante P.A.

        As advocates of justice, Swope, Rodante P.A. is dedicated to fighting for the underdog, protecting our clients’ rights, and recovering compensation for clients to help rebuild their lives. Founded in 1979, Swope, Rodante P.A. has grown to meet the unique needs of our clients and the challenges of today’s legal environment. The firm’s focus is complex litigation, insurance bad faith and catastrophic injury cases, including brain and spinal cord injuries. With a Tampa office located in the historic Florida Brewery building, Swope, Rodante P.A. handles cases across the Southeast and Nationwide.




        Traumatic Brain Injury Figured Prominently in Unique Trial

        Brooks Schuelke, Esq.
        Schuelke Law PLLC

        Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 11, 2019 – A Texas shipping supervisor was awarded over $1 million after a 3-year legal tussle.

        The accident that caused this worker to ultimately sue a trucking company happened in 2016 while the man was working as a shipping supervisor at CFW in Gainsville, Texas. A truck owned by KLD and driven by a KLD trucker, arrived at CFW to pick up a load to be delivered.

        The driver noticed something was wrong with the cargo door of the 20-foot box truck. He asked the shipping supervisor to assess what was wrong with the overhead truck door. As the supervisor stepped into the truck to evaluate the issue, the door fell on him. He sustained a brain injury and was off work for approximately three months. Additionally, the man went through physical therapy and a transcutaneous discal resection of the L5-S1 vertebrae.

        The three months were particularly difficult for the man, as he regularly locked himself in the garage or his room and would not interact with his family. On medical assessment, a neuropsychologist indicated the man was permanently cognitively impaired and suffered from chronic depression and anxiety. Luckily, his employer allowed him to remain on staff despite missing work.

        “The plaintiff worker’s attorneys discovered that KLD had no policies/procedures in place to reveal defects with their equipment and that prior to the date of the accident the same truck had been to CFW with the same defective door,” said Austin personal injury attorney, Brooks Schuelke, not involved in the case. The attorneys argued that KLD knew or should have known of the defect. Additionally, the lawyers indicated that KLD may have attempted to hide evidence by not producing requested documents.

        During the trial to settle whether or not the worker was entitled to compensation for his injuries, the defense claimed the man was not injured at work and that the door falling on him was the result of his negligence and the negligence of the employer. The jury did not agree with that argument and handed down an award of $1,134,000 for past and future medical care, future loss of earnings, past and future mental anguish, past and future physical pain, and past impairment. The verdict was: 90 percent liability apportioned to KLD and 10 percent apportioned to the truck driver.

        Contact Sports Spectators Do Not Think About Player Head Injuries

        Brooks Schuelke, Esq.
        Schuelke Law PLLC

        Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 4, 2019 – Concussions are common when playing contact sports and even most of the fans understand there is some risk to the players involved. Broken bones are one-thing, serious head injuries are another.

        Head injuries involved in contact sports have players, coaches and parents concerned. Head injuries kill. And if by chance they do not kill right away, they can do extensive and serious brain damage that ultimately may take a player’s life due to disease or by their own hand.

        Between 2017 and 2018, at least 291 concussions were sustained in the National Football League (NFL). In English rugby, per 1,000 hours of play, there was, on average, one concussion per match, a three-fold increase from five years ago. Furthermore, a 2017 study of 111 deceased NFL players revealed the that 110 had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

        An in-depth study of the collisions players had sustained suggested that 20 to 45 percent of players run the risk of sustaining CTE. Severe, repetitive concussions greatly increase the risk of dementia, depression, cognitive issues, substance abuse and short-term memory loss. For spectators, the risk of serious brain injury does not seem to diminish the entertainment value of the sport. In fact, fans seem to relish the big hit or the big blow.

        Despite the fact that concussions are prevalent in sports today, many improvements in how concussions are dealt with are helping injured players. What is more, awareness of head injuries in contact sports is growing. “Players are now more readily willing to express concern about a head injury, a fact that increases the ability to diagnose and treat a concussion sooner rather than later,” indicated Austin traumatic brain injury attorney, Brooks Schuelke. Coaches and medical personnel also pay more attention to players and look for signs of concussion. The increase in the ability to diagnose brain injury sooner is beneficial to players, especially since one of the bigger risks of permanent problems is athletes sustaining a second concussion before they are healed from the first.

        The ability to diagnose concussions earlier is a huge success. However, with the advancements in football helmets, which reduce skull fractures, players are increasingly using their heads during games. This is a counterintuitive move that may mean concussions remain a serious issue in contact sports. And it is not just football or rugby that result in head injuries. It is other sports such as boxing, soccer, hockey, baseball and even cricket.

        While a solution to the problem of sustaining concussions in contact sports is partway there, more action needs to be taken in contact sports. Human brains are not fully developed until the mid-20s, thus any head injuries sustained prior to that are often missed in high school players, a possibly deadly precursor in later life if the student chooses to continue to play contact sports.

        “If you play contact sports and feel you are not being given proper training in relation to concussions, have sustained a concussion or suspect your training is not adequate to prevent head injuries, you can talk to me about your legal rights,” said Schuelke.