Previous posts have discussed the impact that a traumatic brain injury can have on a person's life. More than 2,000 former NFL players and their wives have filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL, accusing their former employer of not doing enough to prevent repeat concussions and long-term brain injuries. The former players claim that they suffer from depression and early-onset dementia.
Californians may be interested in a recent article in The New York Times that discusses a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society. The study found that veterans who suffered a traumatic brain injury still suffered the same amount -- or even more -- from the injury eight years after the injury. The researchers found that this was the case for soldiers injured by explosions and also those injured in car accidents.
Post-concussive syndrome symptoms include problems with memory, headaches, dizziness and depression. Doctors used to think that these symptoms would fade over time, but now it is seen that the symptoms persist. Particularly severe TBIs or repeat TBIs have been shown to lead to early-onset dementia similar to Alzheimer's called chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Traumatic brain injuries are always serious. The symptoms of TBIs can make it difficult or impossible to work and can cause problems in a person's marriage and home life as well. TBIs must be treated early and the treatment must be tailored to the individual and include both psychiatric and medical care.
Source: New York Times, "Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Persist for Years," James Dao, July 18, 2012