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Mild brain injuries could lead to mental health issues

A study published in JAMA Psychiatry links mild traumatic brain injuries with an increased chance of mental health issues. Doctors in Louisiana, as elsewhere, may want to ensure that their patients are monitored for many months after incurring mTBIs as this can ensure the best recovery possible.

Researchers at the University of California in San Diego analyzed 1,155 patients who went to the emergency department for mTBIs to see how prevalent were post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorders. They then compared the results to those of 230 patients with non-head orthopedic trauma injuries. All the patients, who were 17 or older, were treated in 11 U.S. hospitals with level 1 trauma centers.

Researchers found that the weights-adjusted prevalence of PTSD or MDD among the first group was 20 percent after the first three months. This is compared to 8.7 percent among the second group. After six months, the numbers did not change significantly: 21.2 percent versus 12.1 percent.

The study identified several risk factors. For example, a self-reported psychiatric history raised the risk for PTSD by an adjusted odds ratio of 3.57 per year. An injury resulting from assault or another form of violence raised it by an aOR of 3.43. Being black factored as well with an aOR of 5.11. MDD had similar risk factors.

TBIs, whether mild or severe, are often the result of auto accidents, assault and sports injuries. Victims may be left dealing with long-term issues and a diminished capacity to earn a living. However, they may be reimbursed for their losses under personal injury law. This is where a lawyer might be beneficial. He or she may hire investigators to show how the other side’s negligence contributed to the TBI. The lawyer may then be able to negotiate for a settlement or litigate.

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