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Lowering the risk of traumatic brain injury

To Louisiana residents, the term traumatic brain injury may sound serious, and it is. However, concussions, which are a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), are actually quite common. Lifestyle or profession can increase someone’s risk of concussion, but everyone is at risk, largely due to the possibility of TBI caused by car accidents.

A great deal of focus has been placed on the danger TBI holds for professional athletes. Even though football players wear helmets, they are at a high risk, which is why some teams have neurosurgeons on their medical staffs. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ long history of concussion awareness has contributed to concussion evaluation techniques that are used across the country.

Children are also at particular risk for head injuries because of the types of physical activities they tend to engage in. In children under the age of 2, non-accidental trauma, meaning child abuse, is a leading cause of brain injury.

Anyone can suffer a concussion from a fall or other type of accident, but car accidents are one of the major causes of TBI. Neurosurgeons say that improvements in car safety have helped, as has increased awareness. Driver behavior, like driving more slowly, is also said to reduce risks. Safety features in cars like air bags and anti-lock brakes can reduce head injuries when crashes occur, but traction control, according to one neurosurgeon, could be the biggest factor in preventing injuries.

Brain injuries can cause mood changes or other emotional problems in patients. In some cases, someone with a brain injury may become mentally impaired. Under this circumstance, the person could have a power of attorney, or someone else who is legally given the power to make certain important decisions for them. This includes financial, legal and medical decisions.

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