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Traumatic brain injuries may lead to Alzheimer's, other long-term effects

The medical field has long acknowledged that head injuries can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, vision problems or trouble with speech, among other potential issues
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    January 22, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The danger head injuries pose to long-term health has become a hot topic in recent years. Prominent professional athletes have publicly acknowledged the difficulties that result from repeat concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. The medical field has long acknowledged that head injuries can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, vision problems or trouble with speech, among other potential issues. Emotional difficulties may also arise from a head injury, from depression and anxiety to trouble with concentration and sleep. Degenerative brain conditions such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E, and dementia have also been linked to head injuries.

The brain is a remarkable and complicated organ that medical researchers have just begun to puzzle out. Medical issues that stem from a head injury depend upon the circumstances of the injury, its severity and treatment after injury. What is clear is that a head injury can potentially result in a myriad of health complications and must be closely watched long after the injury occurs.

New link to Alzheimer's disease

New research on the dangers of head injuries are continually released by medical researchers. For example, the result of a recent study by the Mayo Clinic, published in the journal Neurology, has tied concussions and loss of consciousness to a potential increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.

The study involved several hundred participants 70 years of age and older. Participants with "mild cognitive impairment" who had suffered concussions in the past had an 18 percent higher level of amyloid plaques. These plaques are closely linked to Alzheimer's. While these are only the results of one study, lead researcher Michelle Mielke suggested that there may be a link between head trauma and Alzheimer's and that further research may be beneficial.

Long-lasting consequences

A brain injury can be hard to diagnose. In some cases the true extent of the injury does not reveal itself for years. For people who have been in car accidents, workplace injuries or otherwise have suffered a traumatic brain injury, it can be difficult to ascertain what the best medical care is moving forward. With some brain injuries, such as C.T.E., the only completely sure way to determine injury is by autopsy.

This uncertainty can be especially difficult in personal injury cases. Because many symptoms of a brain injury, such as mood changes, are hard to quantify, it can be difficult for an injured person to prove to an insurance company the damage caused by a TBI. In addition, some injured victims of head trauma accidents themselves are reluctant to admit the extent of the injury. An inability to concentrate or sudden mood changes can be difficult for a person to acknowledge to others. A truly injured person may instead try to "tough it out" or think symptoms are only temporary or due to circumstances or medication.

Personal injury claims

There are an unfortunate number of ways for a person to receive a head injury. About half of all head injuries occur during motor vehicle accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

People who have suffered a head injury due to the negligence of another person should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help obtain the expert medical opinion needed to determine the extent of a head injury and prove so in negotiations and court, if necessary. A personal injury lawsuit can help a person recover compensation for lost wages, medical bills and other necessities while that person seeks to make a full recovery from all symptoms resulting from a head injury.

Article provided by The Krist Law Firm, PC
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