Study Finds Brain Injuries from a Historic Concussion Can Linger for Decades
Concussions are often associated with automobile accidents, falls, or impacts during sports. Although the symptoms of a concussion often subside in a matter of days, the injury can cause chronic, long-term, and life-threatening side effects. A new study suggests brain injuries from a historic concussion can linger for decades.
Studies Pointing to Long-Term Damager Caused by Brain Injuries
Concussions are the most common type of mild brain injury, affecting over 42 million people worldwide annually. The term mild is misleading because concussions carry potential long-term risks including Alzheimer’s Disease and neurodegenerative conditions like chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Researchers led by members of the Brain Aging and Behavior Section of the NIA Intramural Research Program (IRP) tracked PET brain scan and MRI-derived data from more than 50 older adult participants. The sample suffered a concussion at least 20 years earlier. The researchers compared the results to 150 people who never suffered a concussion. The team compared long-term results from neuropsychological tests for both groups.
The results pointed to ongoing brain damage from historic concussions. Brain imaging found that concussed study participants had more noticeable levels of white matter damage to their temporal lobes, frontal lobes, and hippocampus.
The researchers also found differences in brain activity in the frontal and temporal lobes of those who sustained concussions as well as brain tissue loss or atrophy in their temporal lobes. Although the study indicated lingering brain damage in people who suffered a concussion earlier in life, the sample that suffered a concussion returned similar test results to the concussion-free group.
Researchers said they were unsure if this indicated evidence that the brain was able to compensate and adapt to historic brain damage. Further research is planned into the worrying results of these tests.
The researchers warned injuries from a historic concussion may make people more vulnerable to conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia later in their lives.
Our Findings on Concussions and Brain Injuries
We are alarmed but not surprised that this study shows lasting consequences from a concussion on the brain. As Virginia brain injury lawyers, we are well aware of how a so-called mild traumatic brain injury can have ongoing consequences.
A TBI can have a life-altering effect. In the short term, you may experience impaired memory and concentration and quality of life may suffer. People who suffer from brain injuries can feel depressed and alone. Their family relationships may suffer and they often lose work.
It is vital for people who suffer a concussion to rest up and avoid contact sports. People who suffer Second Impact Syndrome (SIS) may sustain dangerous brain swelling before the effects of a first concussion subsided. Second impact syndrome can kill an injured party or leave them severely disabled for life.
We are acutely aware of the potential impact of a brain injury on your life. People who sustain an injury in a car wreck or a slip or fall accident may not always realize it as these are hidden injuries that can be difficult to diagnose. Symptoms such as headaches after a car wreck are associated with a wide range of causes. However, subtle psychological changes, mood swings or depression are telltale signs of a traumatic brain injury.
Our attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers have represented people with traumatic brain injuries across the spectrum from mild concussions to crippling episodes. When another party is to blame for a brain injury it is important to hold them accountable and to recover enough money to meet your long-term medical needs. Please call us at today to get started on your case.