Battling against acute brain injury
The intensive care unit treats many patients with serious brain damage. Despite current treatment, most patients leave the hospital severely handicapped. Scientists at Maastricht University Medical Centre are researching new treatments aimed at accurately matching brain function and the blood flow through the brain to the needs of individual patients. We expect that, by 2020, this new method of treatment will help many patients function considerably better. The new treatments are customised, which means that they are adapted to suit the individual.
Following reanimation, cerebral haemorrhage, severe stroke or a serious accident, brains may suddenly become heavily damaged, with disastrous results for both patient and family. These patients must be admitted to the intensive care unit, where the function of the heart and lungs can be temporarily taken over. Unfortunately, there is currently little we can do to improve recovery of damaged parts of the brain. Moreover, no new treatments have been developed over the past 25 years.
In the future, the number of people with severe brain damage will only continue to increase, due to cardiovascular diseases and serious (traffic) accidents. That is why these patients deserve our full attention.
Scientists at Maastricht University are carrying out pioneering research into adjusting the blood flow in the brain in such a way that brain cells can recover. This customised approach requires financial resources over and above the standard research funds available to these researchers. Support in the form of financial aid for this international research is extremely welcome.
The brain’s functioning is what determines the final outcomes of our patients after discharge from hospital. Relatives report us back repeatedly. It is incomprehensible and unacceptable that acute brain damage has received so little attention and financial support so far. MUMC+ neurologist-intensivist Marcel Aries
Spending by the HersenStrijd (BrainBattle) Fund on the scientific research envisaged will be assessed by a committee of experts affiliated to the fund. The members of the committee are Prof. Caroline van Heugten (azM psychologist), Drs. Jeroen van de Merbel (innovation advisor) prof.dr. Joukje van der Naalt (traumaneurologist UMCG)and Dr Marcel Aries (MUMC+ neurologist-intensivist).
‘Severe traumatic brain injury is the main cause of death and serious handicaps among young adults.’ Neuroscientist Prof. David Menon, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
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