Traumatic brain injuries have the potential to impact victims for the rest of their lives. While many people who suffer concussions and more serious forms of brain injury see their symptoms decline over weeks or months, others may struggle to make a full recovery and lead normal lives. According to a newly published study, there are also concerns for brain injury victims when it comes to their future risks of developing certain neurological conditions.
According to researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the University of Washington School of Medicine, brain injury victims can face real risks as they age. Here’s more about the study:
- Researchers focused on analyzing data involving brain injuries with loss of consciousness for 1 hour or less.
- Over 7,000 participants were studied, including more than 860 of whom had reported brain injuries with loss of consciousness.
- Over the course of years, researchers noted no strong association between loss of consciousness brain injuries and dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
- The study did suggest there was a strong association between brain injuries and the progression of Parkinson’s disease, as well as Lewy bodies, or unusual aggregates of protein in nerve cells, in various places of the brain.
- Researchers also suggest there is an association between head trauma and cortical microinfarcts, which are microscopic strokes associated with cognitive degeneration.
While the study is one of many to explore the long-term effects of brain injuries, there is still much to be learned about the types of risks brain injury victims face. Unfortunately, evaluating future risks is often complicated by the fact that brain injuries can be unpredictable in how they affect victims. Still, many studies do show links between brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases. This was the hallmark of the notable NFL concussion settlement, in which the league explicitly acknowledged there is a clear link between head trauma, especially repetitive trauma, and brain diseases such as CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Evaluating the future risks brain injury victims face is critical to their health, and researchers throughout the world are continuing their efforts to better understand the long-term impact of brain injuries. For victims and families who suffer brain injuries in accidents that were not their fault, understanding these risks is also important in ensuring they receive the compensation needed for their future medical needs.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. is available to help you better understand your legal rights following a concussion or brain injury experienced in a car accident, during sports, or any other incident. Contact us for a free consultation.