A traumatic brain injury can lead to severe and long-lasting health and finanacial problems. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TBI can cause memory loss and impair reasoning, communicating and understanding conversation and sensation. It can also cause emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, personality changes and social inappropriateness. Death can follow a serious injury.
The CDC also reports that TBI can lead to epilepsy, and increase the risk for conditions for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders that become more common as people become older. A study published earlier this year in the Annals of Neurology provides further support to this CDC finding.
The research indicated that the brains of TBI patients were estimated to be older than their chronological ages. The age difference between healthy and TBI patients was 4.66 and 5.97 years based on MRI-derived estimates of gray matter and white matter, respectively. Researchers believe that this TBI-impact upon this may be an important element with increasing TBI patients’ susceptibility for dementia and other illnesses associated with the aging process.
Significantly, this difference increased as time progressed since the patient’s brain injury. The severity of the injury also added to the age discrepancy although the cause of the injury apparently has no effect.
In this study, researchers developed a model to predict normal aging using machine learning in 1,537 healthy people based upon MRI estimates of gray matter and white matter. This model was then used to test 99 patients with persistent TBI and a control group of 113 healthy individuals.
Victims of TBI who suffer these injuries should seek legal assistance to help assure that they can obtain just compensation for injuries suffered by another person’s reckless or negligent behavior. Legal representation can help determine fault for the accident and protect the rights of victims and their families.
Source: Annals of Neurology, “Prediction of brain age suggests accelerated atrophy after traumatic brain injury,” By James H. Cole, PhD and David J. Sharpe, PhD, Retrieved April 13, 2015