Research indicates TBIs may cause higher risk of stroke

Traumatic brain injuries are a serious health issue for Polk County residents and for Americans throughout the country. A TBI occurs when there is a bump or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal functions of the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TBIs cause approximately 1.7 million deaths, hospitalizations and emergency room visits on an annual basis.

The link between brain injuries and stroke

A TBI can have a wide range of long-term and short-term effects on a person. These effects may include difficulties thinking and reasoning, problems with touch, taste and smell, issues communicating or expressing emotions, and emotional effects such as depression and anxiety.

In addition to these effects, new research indicates that suffering from a TBI may also enhance a person's susceptibility to a stroke. When a person suffers from a stroke, they may almost instantaneously lose their ability to speak, find that one side of their body becomes paralyzed and may also have memory problems. According to the study, researchers from the University of Michigan concluded that those who had experienced a TBI were 30 percent more likely to suffer from a stroke, even after taking into account additional causation factors such as age and cholesterol levels.

The study compared two specific groups to determine which factors had the greatest impact on stroke risk. The first group consisted of 435,630 people with an average age of 49.2 that had suffered from a traumatic TBI. The other group was made up of 736,623 people with an average age of 50.2 that had endured some type of head trauma but did not result in a TBI. The researchers followed the participants for 28 months after their accident and found that one percent of all participants endured an ischemic stroke between the time of their injury and the 28 months in which the study went on for.

Living with a TBI

To minimize the impact of a TBI and its health effects, individuals suffering from a TBI should:

  • Get plenty of rest in the days following the accident and shouldn't rush to get back to work or school.
  • Refrain from activities that could cause another brain injury.
  • Consult with their doctor to determine when it is safe to drive a car, ride a bike or drink alcohol.
  • Only take the drugs that their doctor prescribed.
  • Write information down if memory is a problem.

In addition to these recovery tips, individuals should be sure to contact an attorney if they are suffering from the effects of a TBI. If you were in an accident that resulted in a TBI due to the negligence of another person, consult with an attorney in your area to determine what your legal rights are.