Traumatic Brain Injury: Not Just a Problem for Athletes

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a growing concern among Americans, but not just among athletes. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, approximately 2.5 million TBIs occurred in 2010, including both isolated injuries and those that were compiled with other injuries. The report went on to conclude that TBI is a contributing factor in one-third of all injury-related deaths in the United States.

The age groups most likely to be affected by TBI include children up to age 4, adolescents ages 15 to 19, and adults over 65. In fact, almost half a million emergency room visits are contributed to children suffering from TBI. Fortunately, these are generally “Mild TBI” cases, like mild concussions. It is important to remember, however, that no matter what the degree of severity, TBI is not only affecting major athletes but children, adolescents, and the elderly.

The Hidden Problems of TBIs

TBI can affect individuals in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, researchers and medical personnel are still learning about the long-reaching effects of TBI. However, it is known that TBI can result in a variety of neuropsychological disturbances ranging from subtle changes in mood or behavior to severe intellectual and emotional disturbances.

Some examples of typical changes attributed to TBI include cognitive impairments, mood disorders, anxiety disorder, psychosis, and behavioral problems. Statistics show that about 10 percent of patients who have suffered some form of TBI exhibit apathy without depression. Another 60 percent display both apathy and depression.

There are some forms of treatment such as medications that may help improve or stabilize moods or emotional responses in patients suffering from TBI. Other more complex treatments are also available, including intense and comprehensive rehabilitation. TBI rehabilitation must be multifaceted, including a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation. This evaluation assesses cognitive and emotional changes, as well as determines the patient’s deficits and strengths. Once the patient has been assessed, various types of treatment plans, including cognitive rehabilitation, behavioral treatment, social skills training, vocational training, individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy can be implemented. However, more research needs to be done to find a cure or more effective way to solve the problem of TBI.

Because TBI is neither fully understood nor fully treatable, it is important to know your rights and options if you feel you have suffered a TBI due to the negligence of another. Because the effects of TBI can be long-reaching, victims may incur an exorbitant amount of medical debt. If you or someone you love has suffered a TBI as the result of negligence, recklessness, or the intentional conduct of another, seek the help of the experienced personal injury lawyers at Barber and Associates, LLC in Alaska. The team at Barber and Associates, LLC will educate you on your rights and legal options. Call today for a free initial consultation.

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