Traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, are serious injuries that should not be taken lightly. Head injuries have been linked to a number of lifelong medical problems, including depression, fatigue, and sleep problems. Now researchers say that a traumatic brain injury (TBI) could also increase your risk for stroke.
According to this Huffington Post article, researchers from the University of Michigan found that – even after taking into account other stroke risk factors such as age, high blood cholesterol and heart disease – people who have experienced a TBI have a 30 percent higher risk for stroke than those who experienced trauma but did not have a brain injury.
The study looked at 435,630 people who had experienced a traumatic brain injury with an average age of 49.2, as well as 736,623 people with an average age of 50.3 who had experienced some kind of trauma but did not suffer a brain injury as a result. Trauma without TBI was defined as a bone fracture, but not of the head or neck. During the 28 months following the incident, 1 percent of them – or 11,229 people – had experienced an ischemic stroke.
While the overall risk of stroke was low for both groups, researchers found that those who had experienced a TBI had a higher risk of stroke than those with no brain injury – 1.1 percent for those with TBI compared with 0.9 percent of those without TBI.
This study supports previous research conducted in 2011 at Taipei Medical University in Taiwan where researchers found that stroke risk increased tenfold in the three months after a traumatic brain injury.
According to study researcher Dr. James F. Burke, M.D., “While the stroke risk of one person with TBI is small, the overall link between TBI and stroke was substantial – as large as the link between the strongest stroke risk factor, high blood pressure, and stroke.”
One of the most common traumatic brain injuries is a concussion, which occurs when the head accelerates quickly and then suddenly stops or is rapidly rotated. A concussion can result in confusion, blurred vision, memory loss, and nausea. Although in some severe cases, a concussion can result in loss of consciousness, in most cases a concussion does not result in unconsciousness.
Head injuries of all kinds, including concussions, are serious medical conditions that should not be overlooked or understated. A person who suffers a concussion is up to four times more likely to sustain a second concussion, according to neurologists, and athletes are especially susceptible to subsequent concussions. Secondary impact syndrome (SIS) can result in massive swelling of the brain and, in some cases, may lead to a loss of blood flow to the brain, which can place the athletes at an increased risk for learning difficulties and other neuropsychological difficulties.
If you or a loved one has suffered a concussion, head injury, or traumatic brain injury, contact the Chicago head injury attorneys at Ankin Law Offices at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible cause of action to obtain compensation.