Effects of traumatic brain injury may be long-lasting

There are few greater joys in life for many Pennsylvania residents than to be a parent. While kids grow up incredibly fast, these formative years are full of fun and rewarding experiences for both the child and the parent.

Unfortunately, the child’s formative years can also present unique dangers, not only for younger children but younger adults as well. According to a new study, young people who suffered a traumatic brain injury before they turned 25 years old had a shorter lifespan than their siblings who did not suffer a TBI. Those who suffered a TBI also experienced a number of difficulties as well.

For example, those with a brain injury were nearly twice as likely to be hospitalized for a psychiatric illness by their mid-30s. They were also 76 percent more likely to be unable to work and 72 percent more likely to die before reaching their 36th birthday.

The study is troubling, not only because of the startling and increased risks to those who suffered brain injuries but also because of the increased number of young people who are suffering such injuries. Nearly 250,000 children under the age of 19 were diagnosed with sports or recreation injuries in 2009 alone, including concussions.

Of course, while sports are a common cause of concussions and other head injuries, they are not the only cause. A motor vehicle accident can also pose a serious risk for a traumatic brain injury, given the violent back and forth motion that may be involved in the crash.

Ultimately, while there can be varying causes for a TBI, it is vital that the injury be properly diagnosed and treated. This diagnoses and treatment can be very expensive, which makes it all the more important for those who suffered the injury at the hands of another to hold that person accountable.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Long-term risks of childhood head injury may include winding up on welfare and premature death,” Melissa Healy, Aug. 23, 2016