Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Last for Years
Traumatic brain injuries are a serious problem in the United States. According to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1.7 million people in the United States suffer a TBI each year. What is worse, new studies indicate that the symptoms of TBI - including headaches, dizziness and memory problems - can cause problems for patients even years after the initial injury.
For many years, physicians believed that the symptoms of TBI would dissipate over time. No matter whether someone was suffering from physical symptoms, such as problems with balance and coordination, or psychiatric symptoms, such as depression or difficulty with decision making, medical wisdom dictated that rest was the best cure.
A recent study by researchers at the University of Oklahoma, however, has cast this view into doubt. Researchers examined 500 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who had screened positive for TBI during deployment. Those participating in the study were screened a second time to test the persistence of TBI symptoms. Researchers organized their data according to whether those in the study had suffered another TBI in the previous four or five to eight years before the initial screening.
The researchers discovered that the severity of TBI symptoms simply did not improve over time. Approximately 50 percent of veterans tested reported that they were still having mild to moderate headaches. About 46 percent reported the incidence of severe headaches. The numbers were about the same among those veterans who had suffered a TBI in the years prior to initial screening. Data also confirmed previous research indicating that symptoms become more severe when someone suffers multiple TBIs.
The authors of the study were quick to point out that their findings among veterans - many of whom suffered TBIs in explosions - did not vary significantly from data collected from civilians who had suffered TBIs in car accidents or falls. In other words, no matter how a person suffers a TBI, his symptoms can persist for years. In fact, the effects of closed head injuries, which may appear superficial at first glance, can sometimes cause the most problems: a person may look normal, but his injuries may cause him to act completely differently.
This new research proves the complexity of treating someone with a TBI. The process can be long, difficult and extremely expensive.
If you or someone you love has suffered a TBI due to the negligence of another person, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can assess your case and help you get the compensation for your injuries you deserve.