Brain Injuries Can Cause Accelerated Aging and Increased Mortality Rates
Severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can cause long-lasting symptoms in victims that can result in serious cognitive, emotional, and physical challenges. While some victims of severe TBI never fully recover, minor brain injuries such as concussions have not been recognized until recently to have long-term effects. However, new research indicates that even minor brain injuries can have unseen, long-term effects and the effects of serious TBI may be worse than medical professionals previously thought.
Anyone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury has the potential to sustain significant and long-term financial and intangible losses. If a TBI is caused by the negligence of another party, victims are legally entitled to compensation for those losses. If you are a TBI victim, call to discuss your situation today with an experienced brain injury lawyer at the Dolman Law Group.
Increased brain atrophy in TBI victims
Medical professionals can use neurological imaging to examine the brain tissue of an individual and can accurately determine a person’s age by the state of their brain. In one recent study,1 researchers compared brain scans of healthy individuals who had never sustained a TBI with the scans of victims of TBI. Most of the victims had sustained their injuries in motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, assaults, or falls.
When analyzing the healthy brain scans, the researchers could predict the correct age of the participants. However, when examining the brain scans of the TBI victims, they appeared to be older than their actual age due to increased atrophy of the both the gray and white matter of the brain. On average, the TBI victims’ brains appeared to be four years older or more than they actually were. The degree of increased atrophy was proportional to the severity of the injury—the more severe the injury, the older their brains appeared. This accelerated brain atrophy is only one important though largely invisible result of a TBI.
Possible shorter life span for individuals with past TBI
Another study was published2 in recent months in the Journal of Neurology, though the study itself had been going on for more than 15 years. The researchers kept track of 2,428 individuals who suffered mild traumatic brain injury as well as a control group who had never sustained any TBI. The researchers made the following findings, among others:
- The prior mild TBI victims had a greater chance of dying in the fifteen years following their injury than individuals without a history of TBI.
- Individuals over the age of 54 were 1.4 times more likely to pass away than the healthy group.
- Individuals age 15 to 54 were 4.2 times more likely to pass away than the healthy control group.
- Repeated traumatic brain injuries also increased the risk of earlier death.
This study indicates that not only does TBI have the potential to increase mortality rates, but that even a mild concussion may do so. Additionally, it is even more concerning that younger adults have a greater risk of death within 15 years of suffering a concussion. This means that students who play contact sports such as hockey, football, and soccer may be putting their lives at risk when the get a concussion.
In light of the above studies, victims of even mild TBI may have to be concerned about more serious consequences that may not be readily apparent. Discoveries like these may change the way that damages are calculated in a traumatic brain injury case, as greater consequences may result in more compensation by negligent parties.
Call the experienced brain injury attorneys at the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, FL for help
Victims of traumatic brain injury may often recover for their losses related to their accident and injury. The attorneys at the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater understand that many signs and symptoms of a TBI may be “invisible” and will look into all possible consequences of your injury to make sure you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve. Consultations are free and we can advise you whether or not you have a potential legal claim. Call our brain injury law firm at 727-451-6900 for help today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756