Injured Brains May Age Faster
People who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) often experience many different signs and symptoms that may present numerous challenges for work, school, or everyday living. While these symptoms may be relieved with time and rehabilitation may help a victim to return to normal life, there still may be long-term effects of the brain injury that are not as readily apparent. For example, former professional football players who believed they had recovered after several traumatic brain injuries began developing other conditions as they aged. Many players developed early-onset Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease while others suffered from depression and other mental illnesses brought on by repeated brain injuries. A couple of players suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE),1 which is only able to be diagnosed following death though they suffered from many depressive and suicidal symptoms that were not identified.
Keeping an eye on the long-term effects of TBI is important as victims may deserve compensation from any parties responsible for their injury for future struggles. An experienced brain injury attorney will evaluate your case and will fight to make sure you recover for estimated future costs as well as past losses.
Increased brain atrophy
Generally speaking, medical professionals can examine an image of a healthy individual’s brain and determine the age of that individual with relative accuracy. The age estimation is based on the amount of atrophy that has occurred in the brain due to the degeneration of brain cells. A study reported in the Annals of Neurology2 examined the effect that a traumatic brain injury may have on the atrophy of the brain. The study involved a control group of 113 individuals who had not suffered a TBI compared with nearly 100 individuals who had suffered minor, moderate, or severe TBI and the related neurological challenges and symptoms. The TBIs had been caused by auto accidents, sports injuries, falls, assaults, and similar causes.
For all of the healthy brain images, the medical professionals could accurately guess the age of the participant based on their brain matter. However, when they reviewed the brain scans of the past TBI victims, they found that their brains appeared older than they actually were. This was because the brain matter in the TBI victims had atrophied at a faster rate than for the healthy people. People with minor traumatic brain injuries only had a slightly older appearing brain, while victims of severe injuries had brains that appeared substantially older than they should under normal circumstances. Researchers tried to determine whether the cause of the brain injury played a role in future atrophy of the brain but found no difference in TBI victims based on whether the injury occurred due to a car accident, fall, or other reason.
The finding of faster atrophy in the brain in TBI victims only confirms that victims suffer long-term consequences of brain injuries, even if the consequences are not always noticeable or tangible. Many of the effects of brain injuries happen under the surface, which is one reason why a traumatic brain injury is often referred to as a silent injury. This study also confirms that the effects of a brain injury can be ongoing and long-term and that a victim’s brain may suffer structural and functional changes that may be permanent. Brain injury patients should be evaluated and monitored regularly to identify any possible complications that may arise at a later date or that may be ongoing.
An experienced Clearwater brain injury attorney can evaluate your case and guide you through the legal process
Anyone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury in a preventable accident should discuss their situation with an experienced brain injury lawyer in Clearwater, Florida as soon as possible. If another party’s negligence contributed to your accident and injury, you deserve to fully recover for all of your medical bills, lost income, emotional distress, pain and suffering, as well as any estimated future medical treatments that may be required. At the Dolman Law Group, our attorneys understand the challenges that brain injury victims face and strive to help you receive the highest amount of compensation possible. Call to discuss a possible case for free at 727-451-6900 today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756