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Indiana University Research Helps TBI Survivors

Jason Reese

Synopsis

  • Car accidents or sports concussions can create lasting complications that eventually reveal a more serious brain injury.
  • As many as 60 percent of individuals with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) find it challenging to display empathy and respond with appropriate emotions in personal and professional relationships.
  • The inability to recognize emotions puts a significant strain on relationships, careers, and can impede a person’s quality of life.
  • A new app, called My Emotional Compass, was developed by an Indiana University School of Medicineresearcher to help survivors of traumatic brain injuries recognize and regulate their emotions.
  • At Wagner Reese, we understand the challenges related to treating a complex brain injury and support new advancements in research to provide hope to the many people we have worked with suffering from TBI.

Survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury Need Help to Recognize and Regulate Emotions

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability for 1.7 million people living in the United States. This life-changing injury also contributes to about 30 percent of all injury deaths, leaving victims’ families with feelings of grief and emotional stress, and financial burdens. TBIs are a factor in over 30 percent of all injury-related deaths even though nearly 75 percent of all TBIs happen in the form of a concussion or other type of mild brain injury.

Patients with TBI frequently experience damage to regions of the brain and neural networks involved with processing emotions. As a result, many survivors have trouble identifying, labeling and expressing their emotions, a condition known as alexithymia. As many as 60 percent of individuals with moderate to severe TBI experience alexithymia, making it challenging to display empathy and respond in a socially appropriate manner in personal and professional relationships. Patients with mild TBI also experience this challenge.

Indiana University School of Medicine Researcher Uses App to Help TBI Survivors

With no standard, evidenced-based interventions to treat alexithymia issues, a new app has been developed by an Indiana University School of Medicine faculty member to help survivors of traumatic brain injuries recognize and regulate their emotions. These skills are critical to maintaining relationships and quality of life but too often compromised in patients who have endured head traumas. The app, called My Emotional Compass, is specifically designed to address alexithymia by helping patients interpret and put words to their own feelings.

Researchers who support the project say the inability to recognize and interpret emotions puts a significant strain on relationships and impedes a person’s quality of life, but it is a problem that is often overlooked as clinicians focus on immediate and long-term physical complications of the injury. The app may continue to shine a light on the importance of treating alexithymia and other related conditions and empowers patients by giving them access to an effective, easy-to-use tool.

With years of experience handling brain injury cases, Steve Wagner and Jason Reese, understand the nuances required to succeed in complex brain injury cases and support new advancements in research to support the many people we have worked with through our legal practice. My Emotional Compass is available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Traumatic Brain Injury Representation

Our brain injury attorneys at Wagner Reese can help restore the balance of power, providing you the legal support and advice you need so that you can focus on your own health and healing. Connect with us by submitting our online form and our attorneys will review your information and respond promptly. If you wish to speak directly with us, please call (888) 204-8440.

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