Traumatic Brain Injuries May Take Years to Heal
The effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be devastating. Even those who suffer a mild TBI can experience a wide range of physical, psychological and cognitive difficulties such as headaches, dizziness, depression, significant changes in behavior and difficulty making decisions. Up until relatively recently, doctors believed that these symptoms would decrease in severity over time. New research indicates, however, that the damage of TBIs may take years to heal.
A study published recently in the journal PLOS One, conducted by researchers at the University of South Florida and the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, demonstrates that TBIs can result in progressive brain deterioration. Using rat models, researchers discovered that cell death after the initial brain injury was caused by neuroinflammation and an impaired repair mechanism. Over time, this inflammation may even cause more severe injury to the brain and may render a person more likely to suffer from neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. This means that the damage caused over time can be worse than the initial injury.
Though more research is needed, the study indicates that getting the right treatment – even after the effects of the injury have become chronic – may improve the effects of traumatic brain injuries.
TBI Is a Significant Problem in the United States
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1.7 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries in the United States each year. The most common causes of TBIs in the United States are car accidents and falls from heights. Part of the reason these injuries worry doctors and public health experts is because their severity is not always obvious: most TBIs are mild, closed-head injuries, but, as research shows, even mild TBIs can cause lasting damage.
The costs associated with these injuries are also significant. Experts estimate that the cost of traumatic brain injuries – including medical bills and lost productivity – run into the tens of billions of dollars annually.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can assess your case and help you get the fair and adequate compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. For more information about how a personal injury attorney can help you, contact a lawyer today.