Recently, researchers at the University of California confirmed that head injuries can lead to serious brain disorders in the future. This study was the first to examine individual cell types’ reactions to brain trauma, which was done through the observation of 6,000 individual cells in 15 different cell types; at least 12 of the 15 cell types were negatively affected by head trauma in some way. These results allowed researchers to identify several genes that are negatively impacted by traumatic brain injury, which could lead to the future development of more effective treatments.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are extremely prominent in the United States – over 2.8 million Americans sustain a brain injury each year. 30,000 of these are children, which can inhibit them from developing normally and doing well in school. TBIs are also a contributing factor in three of 10 of injury-related deaths in the nation. Common causes of TBI, include falling, being hit against or by an object, and car crashes, which are the leading cause of TBI amongst U.S. teenagers.
Separate research, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, revealed that serious neurological and psychiatric disorders are major long-term consequences that can result from TBI in children. This includes headaches, depression and anxiety, intellectual disabilities, seizures, and permanent brain damage. In addition to this, four out of 10 children who sustain a TBI can expect to face at least one lingering symptom five years after the injury occurs.
Traumatic brain injury trends in Washington, DC are particularly troubling. According to the DC Department of Health, the area has some of the highest rates in the nation of hospitalization and death caused by TBI. This translates to DC having the sixth highest fatality rate for TBI patients in the nation.
Ultimately, each new study contributes more to understanding the long-term repercussions of traumatic brain injuries. While it’s important to prevent traumatic brain injuries from occurring in the first place, it’s also vital that we recognize the potential repercussions and do our best to prevent further harm to the body.
Both an Emory School of Law graduate and MBA graduate of Goizueta Business School at Emory, Chris Nace focuses his practice on areas of medical malpractice, drug and product liability, motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death, employment discrimination and other negligence and personal injury matters.