Traumatic brain injury can result from a variety of incidents, most often through car accidents, slips and falls and even contact sports. The effects of a traumatic brain injury differ based on the circumstances of the injury, like severity. But a recent study out of Sweden has shown that even a single brain injury, no matter how minor, could have long-term TBI effects.
The study looked at national birth registers from 1973 to 1985, analyzing how many had suffered at least one traumatic brain injury before the age of 25. For 9.1 percent of the TBI sufferers, researchers looked into the later medical risks for six different medical and social outcomes. They then compared those patients with siblings to account for possible hereditary effects that may have altered the results.
The results were stunning, showing that TBI was a predictor of increased risk for premature mortality, psychiatric inpatient admission, psychiatric outpatient visits, disability pension, welfare recipiency and low educational attainment. Greater severity and recurrence of TBI, as well as older age, factored into worse outcomes.
What to Do If You or a Loved One Suffer a Brain Injury
After a car accident or slip and fall, victims might not notice the effects of TBI for some time. You might have a headache or feel dizzy, but not know that these are symptoms of brain injury.
- When in doubt, seek medical attention. While some concussions are minor enough that they will get better in a few days, some can lead to life-threatening bleeding or blood clots if not properly diagnosed.
- While there are scans and drugs that can help you recover from TBI, the best treatment is rest. This means to avoid anything that can be mentally overstimulating, including reading, listening to music, watching TV, texting, surfing the Internet – nothing with small words or bright screens. Get as much sleep as you need to get back on your feet.