The Risks in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Many people do not realize that after an Atlanta car accident they may experience symptoms that are due to a mild head injury. Sometimes these injuries can present subtle symptoms such as headache, fatigue or mild dizziness which are actually symptoms of a concussion. The injured person may not attribute these issues to the accident, for example a rear-end collision. It is very important to know what to look for and to seek both medical and legal advice as soon as possible. We share with readers some of the reasons why this is so important and what new research is revealing about the long term impact of these injuries.
Across the United States annually, about three million patients visit the emergency room for a traumatic brain injury. These numbers don’t account for the many people who suffer concussions, but do not seek medical attention. For those who do visit urgent care or an ER, often the diagnosis will be mild trauma or mTBI. TBI’s sustained in a car accident can result in injuries to the driver and/or passengers that might not seem of great concern at first. Mild concussions were once thought to fully resolve on their own and not to result in long term issues. However, with 3-D imaging technologies, scientists are learning more about the affect of mild head trauma and the long term impact of mTBI that used to be thought of as insignificant. The findings reveal that both dementia and Parkinson’s Disease can result from earlier head trauma, perhaps from an auto accident or a fall.
Mild concussion can occur in many situations. A quick fall on an icy sidewalk or a trip on a stairway or a slip and fall in a store, might not seem serious when the victim gets up and seems to be fine. But events that we might consider to be a common slip and fall or trip, could ultimately mean more medically than once thought. A mild hit on the head due to a fall or vehicle accident, could be far more of a concern. Research is now revealing that even what was once considered a mild injury could well increase risk of serious disease and medical issues down the road. Illnesses including Parkinson’s disease and dementia could be brought on or worsened by a fall years before.
Long Term Impacts of Mild Trauma
Most Americans are becoming more aware of the impacts of more severe TBI. These injuries have been well publicized in recent years. More data has been revealed in research involving football players, for example. The long term affects to the brain after multiple concussions has led to new protocols for NFL players and school kids on the field of play for impact sports, including soccer.
Most recently, researchers at UCSF have studied the long term impact of just one concussion and the risks associated with that. This research looked at many types of traumatic brain injuries, even those that were not revealed on a CT scan or an MRI. The research has revealed that long term there is a greater risk of both dementia and Parkinson’s disease in these patients. This can take many years to reveal itself. Since the initial injury or mild concussion may have been much earlier in life, it may not be in a patient’s history. The history can also be missing information when a concussion occurred earlier in a patient’s life and the patient does not recall this. The initial findings reveal that this may be due to greater inflammation in the brain and/or other causes.
In our next article, Scholle Law will share with readers what researchers are doing to discover how to better diagnose these injuries and what they might mean for those injured in a car, truck or other accident. Consulting with our lawyers after an accident can help to ensure that you are compensated for not just the short term, but the long term issues that head injuries can present. We are very knowledgeable about the head injury research that continues to develop. Scholle Law will not charge you for a consultation and if we take on your representation after an accident, we do not get paid until you do.