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Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries Linked to PTSD & Depression

On January 30, 2019, Murray B. Stein, MD, MPH, Sonia Jain, PhD, and Josepth T. Giacino, PhD posted “Risk of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depression in in Civilian Patients After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Track-TBI Study” on JAMA Psychiatry. As the title implies, this study links mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI) to posttraumatic stress disorder and depression. While the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense enthusiastically supported this study, it does have some notable (and obvious) naysayers from the NFL and various pharmaceutical companies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a traumatic brain injury is “caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from ‘mild,’ i.e. a brief change in mental status or consciousness to ‘severe,’ i.e. an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury.”

A traumatic brain injury can be caused by:

  • Motor vehicle collisions
  • Serious falls or bumps to the head
  • Acts of violence
  • Child abuse
  • Domestic abuse
  • Sports or recreational injuries
  • Combat injuries

According to the study, 21.2% of hospital patients with mild traumatic brain injuries experienced PTSD or depression symptoms after their sustaining their injuries. To complete this study, researchers worked with 1,155 TBI patients and 230 patients without head injuries from 11 hospitals and trauma centers across the United States.

The patients with mild traumatic brain injuries were originally injured by:

  • Motor vehicle collisions (61.8%)
  • Serious falls or unintentional injuries (29.2%)
  • Acts of violence of assault (6.1%)
  • Unspecified causes (3%)

Over the course of 2 years, the researchers discovered that patients with mild traumatic brain injuries were more likely to report PTSD or major depressive symptoms approximately 3-6 months after sustaining their injuries. They also found that having a prior mental health problem was “an exceptionally strong risk factor” for developing PTSD or a major depressive disorder after an accident.

Explore Your Legal Options

Each year, there are approximately 2.5 million traumatic brain injuries reported in the United States. While 70-90% of these cases are considered “mild,” victims can still suffer physical and cognitive side effects that necessitate expensive medical procedures and psychiatric care. At The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC, our skilled Austin brain injury lawyer can help you recovery compensation that facilitates your recovery process. We know this is a difficult time for you, which is why we provide our services on a contingency fee basis; this way, you can take legal action without worrying about attorney fees.

Our legal team is available 24/7. Call us today at (512) 271-5112 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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