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Computers join the fight against brain injury

Brain injuries have long been a threat to humans, leading to all sorts of personal protective equipment. Anyone rides a bike or works on a construction site can attest to the value of always wearing a helmet. But products for personal protection often have a limit, and people can still suffer injuries even when they work hard to prevent it.

Some brain injuries are difficult to detect, even when symptoms present themselves and top doctors are on the case. Many injuries to the head may have superficial signs or no signs at all while still affecting the cognition or health of victims. Many machines used in hospitals, such as computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imagers (MRIs) were developed to look inside the skull when this is a danger.

Now, computers are on the case along with doctors. A new piece of artificial intelligence is being developed to study CT scans and other evidence for brain injuries that are otherwise hard or impossible to find. An academic team validated the algorithm's usefulness on a group of scans for counting and analyzing lesions, or pockets of traumatized tissue, in brains.

"Often, much of the rich information available in a CT scan is missed, and as researchers, we know that the type, volume and location of a lesion on the brain are important to patient outcomes," said one of the authors of the study.

If later tests show a doctor missed a brain injury, the victim may have a case for financial damages that can help with recovery. An attorney can help investigate this option.

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