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Mild brain injuries could lead to PTSD

A mild traumatic brain injury could increase the likelihood of developing post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a study. The discovery, which was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Neurotrauma, could lead to better detection methods and treatments for TBI patients in Pennsylvania and nationwide.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco General Hospital and Washington University in St. Louis analyzed the impact mild TBI has on civilian emergency services providers. They found that approximately 27 percent of mild TBI patients who were screened for PTSD six months after their initial injury tested positive for the disorder. The researchers examined several indicators related to mental health and function, including functional disability, psychiatric symptoms, mental flexibility, visual processing and satisfaction with life. They also evaluated the predictive value of the cause of the head injury, a patient's psychiatric history and pre-injury education.

The editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neurotrauma said the study "reframes PTSD within the context of civilian TBI." He also believes the findings mean mild TBI patients should undergo routine PTSD evaluation, particularly those who have the comorbid factors named in the study.

Individuals who suffer brain injuries could experience a number of long-term health problems, including coma, amnesia, memory problems and even permanent disability. People who suffer a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another party, such as in a motor vehicle accident caused by an impaired or distracted driver, may want to speak with an attorney about their legal rights. After reviewing the details of the case, an attorney may recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. Such a suit could bring a needed financial settlement to the victim that compensates for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other related damages.

Source: Psych Central, "Mild Brain Injury Can Up Risk for PTSD," Rick Nauert, Aug. 19, 2016

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