Brain injuries not limited to sports, frequent in car crashes

A blow or multiple blows to the head can result in severe damage to the brain. Scientists with the National Institutes of Health recently concluded that football player Junior Seau suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Multiple concussions from a career in the NFL lead to the degenerative disease.

Not all concussions or traumatic brain injuries lead to CTE, and unlike many perceptions that sports are the leading cause of these injuries – the actual leading causes are falls and motor vehicle accidents. Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 29. It is the leading cause of death in a car crashes as well.

Each year, in the United States the Centers for Disease Control estimate that 1.7 million people suffer a TBI.

Research on treatment reveals surprise findings

Even though many brain injuries happen each year, research in the field has lagged with many researchers referring to TBI as an “orphan disease.” However, a recent research partnership between U.S. and Latin American physicians has looked at treatment methods.

Treatment for TBI traditionally includes intracranial pressure monitoring, but the researchers decided to question the effectiveness of the conventional treatment. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers reported no significant difference between intracranial pressure monitoring and treatment based on imaging and clinical examination.

Results of the study could prompt surgeons to look to more factors than simply the pressure in the brain when evaluating treatment options. New research will likely improve brain injury management.

Symptoms of a TBI

Some of the warning signs of a TBI injury fall into four main categories: thinking, physical, emotional and sleep. Changes in typical behavior are red flags. Symptoms can vary, but after an accident where you or a loved one suffered a bump, jolt or blow to the head seek medical assistance with the following:

  • Any numbness, weakness or lack of coordination
  • A headache that increases in pain and does not go away
  • Nonstop vomiting or nausea
  • Speech that is slurred

While athletes who suffer the long-term effects of brain injury get much of the press, many more people suffer from these injuries in auto accidents each year. It is important to get medical attention after any suspected brain injury. A proper treatment plan will ensure you are back on your feet as soon as possible.

In some cases, you may not know what caused the accident. A lawyer can assist you in discovering what exactly happened. If the negligence of another driver caused the auto accident, a personal injury attorney can advise of available remedies and help you through the legal process.