Over the last decade, there has been growing concern over the impact traumatic brain injuries have on long-term health. This is evidenced by the new laws in professional sports regarding concussions. For example, if an NFL player suffers a blow to the head, the coaching and medical staff must undergo certain concussion protocol. If there’s any indication that the player has suffered a concussion, they must leave the game and be sent for immediate medical treatment.
Part of this new concern is for the immediate health and well-being of the athlete. However, in general, researchers want to know what the long-term impact of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) really are. One of the important questions that they look at is whether TBIs are linked to dementia later in life. Because dementia is one of the hardest neurological conditions to explain, diagnose and treat, it’s important that we know what contributes to the condition.
For over thirty (30) years, medical researchers have been investigating whether or not a link between TBI and dementia actually exists. For people who suffer a TBI early in life, knowing what the long-term effects are is extremely important. If you or your child suffer a concussion or other TBI, it’s important that you contact a brain injury attorney that practices in Alabama.
What are the Signs and Causes of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Some people may not even be aware of what a traumatic brain injury is. Whenever someone suffers a severe blow to the head, they can suffer a TBI – as the brain literally gets rattled around in the skull. This can cause all kinds of short-term and long-term problems.
Some of the signs and symptoms of a TBI include:
- Memory loss
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Problems communicating
If you or your student athlete suffer any of these symptoms, it’s important that you seek immediate medical treatment. If you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, there’s always the chance that you can suffer internal injuries. If left untreated, these injuries can prove damaging, even fatal.
Traumatic brain injuries can be caused in any number of ways. However, some of the major causes include the following:
- Car accidents
- Being struck in the head with an object
- Sports injuries
If you suffer any of these events which leads to a TBI, your Alabama injury lawyer they may seek damages for your injuries.
There are Both Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of a TBI
If you do suffer a TBI, it can impact your life both in the short-term and the long-term. Some of the immediate effects are quite obvious. You may not be able to remember the traumatic event. You may have a hard time learning new information. In fact, you may not even be able to remember things you learned long ago.
With treatment, some of these symptoms can dissipate or disappear. However, there are also long-term effects of a TBI. Unfortunately, not all of these can be anticipated at the time of your injury. It can take years to fully experience the impact of a TBI. One of these long-term effects is thought to be an increased chance of developing dementia.
Can a TBI Really Cause Dementia Later in Life?
Whether or not a TBI can increase your chances of developing dementia later in life depends on how severe your injuries were. Traumatic brain injuries are broken down into three main types: mild, moderate and severe. As you can imagine, the worse your injury, the greater the odds of developing dementia down the road.
While some doctors theorize that there is no link between TBI and dementia, the research shows that there is a probably link between the two. Over the last thirty (30) years, researchers have looked into the causal link between the two. What they have found is that there is a definite link between a TBI early in life and dementia as you get older.
Research has found that someone who suffers a mild or moderate TBI is 2.3 times more likely to suffer from dementia when they get older. For people who suffer a severe TBI, this number increases to 4.5. They’ve also found that people who suffer recurrent TBI or concussions may develop dementia as much as two (2) years earlier than other people.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Birmingham, Alabama
If you or your loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may need help. You should call an experienced personal injury law firm in Birmingham right away. They can help make sure you’re compensated for your injuries.
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