Study: brain trauma increases risks of PTSD

Many people go through life thinking they and their loved ones will be spared injuries or illnesses that strike down others. Unfortunately, life is rarely that simple or easy.

As many Joplin families know, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can happen in the blink of an eye in car accidents, falls, sports mishaps and other sudden, unexpected events.

Fortunately, researchers continue to look for ways to help those with TBI recover faster and more fully.

A four-year study of U.S. Marines recently shed light on how TBI affects victims. Researchers found that combat soldiers who sustain brain trauma are more likely to later experience post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to media reports, it’s the first study to show that trauma to the brain increases risks of PTSD.

Researchers were trying to determine why some Marines are less likely to experience PTSD symptoms than others.

The strongest predictor in the study of post-traumatic stress disorder was TBI. That finding might help military medical personnel identify who is most at risk for PTSD, which would in turn enable doctors to give care designed to prevent or minimize the disorder.

Even mild trauma to the brain was found to increase PTSD symptom indicators by 23 percent, researchers said, while moderate or severe trauma raised symptom indicators by 71 percent.

A second study determined that those individuals who suffer a brain injury have more difficulty in controlling acute pain.

A researcher said those “with with TBI show a very high incidence of chronic pain.”

Obviously, further research is needed to more fully understand the often long-lasting effects brain injuries can have on different individuals.

Anyone who is dealing with the aftereffects of TBI sustained in a car accident should discuss with an experienced personal injury attorney legal options available to pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.

Source: The Daily Caller, "What causes PTSD? Researchers come closer to finding out," Katie Callahan, Feb. 6, 2014

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