Concussions cause long-term damage to brain

Alabama residents who have sustained head trauma or who work in risky professions may be interested in a new study from New York University's Langone School of Medicine, which has found that even mild traumatic brain injuries, such as those suffered in a concussion, can result in long-term structural damage to the brain. Approximately 1.7 million people each year suffer a traumatic brain injuries, about 75 percent of which are classified as mild. These injuries can occur due to a blow to the head or during an accident in which the victim experiences whiplash.

The study examined 28 patients with mild traumatic brain injury along with a control group of 22 people. Some of the participants were subjected to an MRI one or two months after injury and then again one year later. Even after a year, researchers found measurable differences in brain volume and damage to certain regions in the brain when victims of brain injury were compared to the control group.

The part of the brain most often involved in this damage was the anterior cingulate, which is associated with depression; brain injury patients suffer from depression more often than the general population. The study showed that this damage can occur even after a very minor concussion.

Researchers hope that the results of the study will lead to concussion patients receiving more proactive treatment. Victims of traumatic brain injuries caused by a car accident or other incidents involving negligent may wish to consult a personal injury attorney. In some cases, these victims may be able to recover damages for their brain injuries as well as receive compensation for other expenses and emotional trauma.

Source: Fox News, "Single concussion can cause lasting damage to the brain, research finds," Loren Grush, March 12, 2013

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