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Mild brain injury raises chances of mental health symptoms

Oklahoma residents should know that mild traumatic brain injuries, also known as concussions, can increase the risk for certain mental health conditions. A study conducted by researchers at the University of California in San Diego compared the prevalence of and risk determinants for post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder among two different groups: those that incurred mTBIs and those that incurred non-head orthopedic trauma injuries.

The first group consisted of 1,155 patients, the second of 230. All were 17 or older and treated in one of 11 U.S. hospitals with level 1 trauma centers. After three months, researchers found that the weights-adjusted prevalence of PTSD and/or MDD in the first group was 20 percent, compared to 8.7 in the second. After six months, the percentages were 21.2 and 12.1, respectively.

Researchers determined several risk factors for PTSD at six months after the mTBIs. They included lower education, self-reported psychiatric history and injury caused by assault or another form of violence. These increased the chances of PTSD by an adjusted odds ratio of .89, 3.57 and 3.43 percent per year, respectively.

Similar risk factors, excluding the cause of injury, were seen for MDD. Researchers believe that the solution is for physicians to monitor their mTBI patients for months after the injury to ensure a full recovery.

Brain injuries can be the result of car accidents, sports incidents or slip and falls, among other causes. When an individual suffers injuries through no fault of their own, they could seek compensation from the responsible party. A personal injury claim could potentially cover medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering and much more. However, a victim may consider legal counsel before they file. A lawyer could be beneficial for the negotiation phase and litigate if a settlement isn't achieved.

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