Traumatic brain injury is often called the silent epidemic. This poses a problem for the trial attorney in obtaining compensation for his or her client. In many states, in order to recover fair compensation, the attorney must show objective evidence of a brain injury in order to convince skeptical jurors that the injury and problems are real. Unfortunately, traditional diagnostic studies such as MRIs and CT scans, usually show brain functions as normal, especially in mild traumatic brain injuries.
A more recent test that is becoming widely recognized in the scientific and medical communities is PET scans.
A PET scan uses a small dosage of a chemical called radionuclide combined with a sugar. This combination is injected into patient. A PET scanner will rotate around a patient’s head to detect the emissions given off by the radionuclide. The computer then uses the measurements of glucose used to produce a picture which is color coded.
This is wonderful technology which finally allows us to see the true injuries a patient’s brain has sustained. In the litigation setting, insurance companies, their attorneys as well as their well paid experts often assert that PET scans are not valid or scientifically recognized. However, PET scans have been approved in the clinical setting to evaluate patients suffering from Alzheimers disease.