March is traumatic brain injury awareness month, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – along with our Detroit personal injury lawyers – wanted to take the opportunity to increase awareness regarding this poorly understood condition.
The fact is, it’s not just car accident victims that might suffer a brain injury. It happens every single day on playgrounds, sports fields, battle fields, construction sites and even on newly-mopped surfaces in restaurants and retail shops.
The Detroit Free Press recently published an article reporting on research completed by the Cleveland Clinic. The study found that college football players may experience significant and long-term brain damage due to repeated blows to the head – even when they haven’t suffered a concussion.
Scientists administered brain scans and took blood samples from nearly 70 college football players both before and after games throughout the 2011 season. What they found was that the 40 players who had taken the hardest hits to the heads measured elevated levels of an antibody that is closely associated with brain trauma – even though they did not have a diagnosed concussion. The brain scans of those players revealed abnormalities.
This strikes at the theory that concussions are the only cause of sports-related traumatic brain injury. It also may shed some light on the plight of others who have suffered head trauma as well.
And it underscores how much we don’t yet know about the science of the brain and how much more we have to learn about the causes of long-term damage. In many ways, our brains are remarkably resilient muscles, but in others, they are incredibly fragile and vulnerable.
The CDC indicates there are approximately 1.7 traumatic brain injuries every year, though that is likely a low estimate as not all incidents are reported.
The severity of a brain injury can range from mild to severe. On the low end of the spectrum, one would experience a brief change in either their level of consciousness or mental status. On the high end of the spectrum, there would be extended periods of unconsciousness, amnesia, loss of function or other long-lasting side effects.
Specifically, a traumatic brain injury could result in significant damage to your ability to think, taste, touch, smell, communicate, express and understand. It may also significantly impact your emotions, and many sufferers of TBI also report increased rates of depression, anxiety, aggression, social inappropriateness and personality changes.
It can also cause epilepsy and sufferers are at increased risk of early-onset Alzhemier’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Part of the reason TBIs are so concerning is many people don’t recognize when they have suffered one. For example, you could be in a car accident one day and walk away feeling generally fine, only to days later find yourself suffering from dizziness, confusion and severe headaches that are indicative of a TBI.
That’s why anytime you have suffered a blow to the head for any reason, it’s best to get it checked out by a doctor.
If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury in Detroit, contact the Law Offices of Goodman Acker for a free case consultation. Call 1-866-366-8567.