Perhaps it was a serious car wreck, a sporting injury, an accident at work or a fall on a broken sidewalk. Whatever the cause, every brain injury, even mild ones, can have a serious effect on the victim's health. For example, a person in Billings who suffers from a brain injury could experience a change in personality, persistent pain in his or her head and cognitive and memory problems. In the most serious of situations, a brain injury could even put a person into a coma, necessitating medical care for the rest of the victim's life.
As it currently stands, approximately 1.7 million individuals annually will suffer from a traumatic brain injury, making it a leading cause of disabilities and fatalities. One well-known drug, lithium, has been used for decades as a mood stabilizer to treat mental illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorder. However, Montana residents may be interested to hear that recent research out of Rutgers University has shown that lithium may also be beneficial in treating brain injuries.
Being involved in a serous accident can alter a person's life in an instant. When an accident victim suffers a severe injury, such as a head trauma, that person could suffer short and long-term affects. A traumatic brain injury could result in a lifetime of pain and suffering and ongoing medical treatments. Such a situation is emotional and challenging for victims and their loved ones.
Suffering a head trauma in a serious accident is likely a life-altering event for residents in Montana and elsewhere. Many brain injuries have long-term effects, impacting a victim in a wide range of ways. In some cases, a brain injury could be so debilitating that the victims are unable to work or enjoy their quality of life. In other situations, a brain injury could only have short-term effects, causing the victim to endure symptoms for a year or less.
A traumatic brain injury occurs when a blow to the head or a penetration of the skull results in brain damage. Depending on the extent of brain damage, a TBI can be classified as mild, moderate or severe. A severe TBI may be diagnosed if the symptoms include a worsening or persistent headache, seizures or convulsions, vomiting, slurred speech, dilated pupils, numbness or weakness in the arms and legs, confusion or loss of coordination.
A severe traumatic brain injury can be devastating, leading to disability, personality change and even death. But, even a mild traumatic brain injury can have significant long-term consequences. One of the risks of brain injury is brain cell swelling, which occurs after a brain injury and can worsen the injury. Montana readers may be interested to learn that scientists have discovered that a drug currently used to treat epilepsy can reduce the likelihood and severity of post-TBI brain cell swelling.
Brain injuries can have lasting consequences and can be costly to treat. Brain injuries include blows and jolts to the head, as well as a penetration of the head, that damages the brain. The severity of a traumatic brain injury and symptoms can vary. Traumatic brain injuries can result in physical, financial and emotional losses for victims and their families. The cost of treating traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can be high and can depend on the nature of the medical treatment needed and any rehabilitative care that is necessary.
The number of activities posing risks of traumatic brain injury for victims in Montana and the United States have multiplied in recent years. The consequences of TBI have already been felt in professional football especially after former NFL players began experiencing depression and Alzheimer symptoms at younger ages. However, those involved in action sports are now feeling the impact of TBI after a brain injury suffered by BMX legend Dave Mirra led to his death.
Brain injuries are a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), brain injuries result in more than 50,000 deaths annually. Brain injuries are a contributing factor in about one-third of all deaths from injury in the U.S. Many Montana families can verify the terrible effects a brain injury has had on a loved one.
Over the last decade our society has learned that the risk of brain injury from playing football is much higher than previously thought. The news media has reported on a number of former professional players who have been diagnosed with brain damage, and the National Football League is struggling to cope with the issue. The issue is not limited to the pros, however. High school and college players are also at risk, as a tragic story from Montana illustrates.