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Effects of traumatic brain injury may last longer than previously expected

New research indicates that the effects of traumatic brain injuries may last for years.
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    March 24, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Effects of traumatic brain injury may last longer than previously expected

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Although many people may not realize it, traumatic brain injuries are a significant problem in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1.7 million people in the U.S. suffer a TBI each year. Most of these injuries come in the form of mild concussions. Still, experts estimate that the cost of TBIs in the U.S. - including medical bills and lost productivity - totals in the tens of billions of dollars each year.

Until relatively recently, doctors believed that the main effects of traumatic brain injuries - including headaches, dizziness, depression, changes in mood and cognitive difficulties - would dissipate over time with rest and proper treatment. New research indicates, however, that the effects of traumatic brain injuries may last for years.

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma studied 500 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, each of whom had screened positively for a TBI during deployment. They asked the veterans, all of whom were being treated at the Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Medical Center, to evaluate the incidence of common TBI symptoms. Researchers then sorted the data according to whether a patient had suffered a TBI within four years or between five to eight years before the beginning of the study.

Researchers discovered that time did little to mitigate the incidence or severity of common TBI symptoms. For example, among those who had suffered a TBI within four years of the study, approximately 50 percent reported mild-to-moderate headaches while 46 reported experiencing severe headaches. The numbers were almost the same for those who had suffered a TBI five to eight years prior to the study: 45 percent reported experiencing mild-to-moderate headaches and 51 percent reported severe headaches. The numbers were similar for all other symptoms measured.

Although further study is needed, it is clear that doctors are just now beginning to understand the consequences of suffering a traumatic brain injury. Researchers are hopeful that efforts will lead to new treatments that will allow TBI patients to recover more quickly.

A personal injury attorney can help

If you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury or other catastrophic injury, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help you get the fair and adequate compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. For more information, contact an attorney today.

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