Traumatic Brain Injuries Could Be linked To Mental Health Issues

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In Brief

The Facts: In a recent study of 1155 patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and 230 patients with orthopaedic injuries not involving the head, patients with mTBI were more likely to suffer from PTSD and/or depression.

The Takeaway: Brain injury is associated with new-onset or exacerbation of preexisting mental health disorders in a substantial minority of patients. Knowing these risks factors can inform efforts at prevention, screening, diagnosis, and improved treatment.

Contrary to popular belief, even mild head injuries can cause long-term effects.

After a mild traumatic brain injury, 1 out of 5 patients went on to experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or major depressive disorder (MDD) within the next 6 months, according to a study published online in JAMA Psychiatry.

Among the participants’ mild traumatic brain injuries, 61.8% were caused by a motor vehicle accident, 29.2% were the result of a fall or other unintentional injury, 6.1% were caused by an assault, and 3% were from an unspecified cause.

Participants who suffered from a TBI were more likely to report PTSD or major depressive symptoms three and six months after injury. Indeed, researchers identified the disorders in 20% of patients with mild TBI 3 months after injury, and in 21.2% of patients 6 months after mild TBI. In comparison, the mental health disorders were present in 8.7% of patients with orthopaedic injuries alone 3 months after the injury, and in 12.1% of patients 6 months after an orthopaedic injury. 

Additional risk factors 

The researchers also found that having a mental health problem before a traumatic brain injury was “an exceptionally strong risk factor” for having PTSD or major depressive disorder afterwards. 

Injuries caused by an assault were associated with increased risk of mental health problems. 

Finally, individuals with a lower level of education, or belonging to a racial minority were at substantially increased risk of PTSD and/or MDD.

This is a good study for helping to predict who is at risk for depression and PTSD after a traumatic brain injury sustained in a car accident and to provide better diagnosis, screening and treatment.

Assiff Law Offices

Assiff Law Offices

We are a Personal Injury Law Firm, located in Edmonton Alberta dedicated and committed to the practice of personal injury litigation.

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The information presented on this post is not legal advice. We encourage you to perform further research on the topics described here, and if you have any questions or would like to speak to one of our personal injury lawyers, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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