Traumatic Brain Injuries Have Lifelong Consequences

Concussions have drawn significant media attention due to the growing number of lawsuits filed by former NFL players. A new study has shown that a personal injury involving the brain can leave the victim dealing with symptoms for many years. Researchers at the University of Oklahoma focused on traumatic brain injuries suffered in combat-related incidents. It showed that common symptoms such as dizziness, memory loss, depression and headaches could be just as intense years later as they were immediately after the injury. This counters the long held belief that rest and time would cause TBI symptoms to fade or disappear altogether.

The study compared victims of traumatic brain injury who had suffered their injuries within the past four years with victims of traumatic brain injuries occurring five to eight years ago. It gathered data regarding the symptoms, if any, still suffered by the veterans. The numbers indicated that the additional passage of time had done little or nothing to alleviate the affects of the injury.

The study also supported the belief that symptoms were generally worse for those who had suffered multiple brain injuries. The symptoms were more severe for those who had experienced more than once concussion or other brain injury. One of the study authors said the study made clear the challenges involved in treating brain injury patients. Traumatic brain injuries disrupt the lives of victims in countless ways. Things like mood swings, depression, dizziness and headaches leave healthy-looking individuals unable to function in the same way they used to.

After an accident, an injury victim faces many challenges. For those who suffer traumatic brain injuries, the problems can last for years and have a tremendous impact on their ability to work or even maintain family relationships. The sooner a head injury is diagnosed and treatment is begun, the better off the victim.

Source: The New York Times, “Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury Can Persist for Years,” by James Dao, 18 July 2012