Concussions can have lasting consequences

After an accident, victims often shrug off the possibility of injuries in order to close this unfortunate chapter of their lives. They may focus more on the necessary car repairs than on their own potential health crises.

This, however, can be incredibly dangerous. In the case of some closed head injuries, ignoring the signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can lead to life-threatening complications that require immediate surgical intervention to survive.

Long-term consequences

Even when the initial concussion is survivable, that does not mean that the victim can not later face adverse consequences as a result of the concussion. Last year, the JAMA Neurology reported in its November 12 edition that those who suffer TBIs are at over twice the suicide risk of those with no history of head injuries.

Research from six studies of over 700,000 individuals who suffered TBIs like concussions was compared to data from 6.2 million people who had never been diagnosed with head injuries. At least half of those participating were studied for two to a dozen years.

The analysis determined there was a small subset of the TBI demographic that had an enhanced risk of suicidal ideation, suicide attempts and suicide. As stated by the study's lead author, a doctor with the University of Toronto, "Anyone who is having suicidal thoughts, it is incredibly important that they seek urgent medical attention."

Relationship still murky

The lead author pointed out that the correlation between suicide and TBIs remains unclear despite several high-profile suicides by those in the military and professional athletes.

After all, roughly 80 percent of patients diagnosed with concussions heal without any complications. Still, some struggle with lingering neurological symptoms like depression and anxiety.

Severity matters

Those who survive severe brain injuries are more likely to suffer from long-term neurological symptoms and increased risk of suicide, said the researchers.

However, it is thought that even minor TBIs can cause permanent changes in the portions of the brain that influence decision-making and mood stabilization.

Be aware of possibilities

If you suffer a head injury in an Austin collision, don't be too quick to settle your claim for compensation. You could later discover that you have complications resulting from the mild concussion your suffered in the accident caused by an at-fault motorist. Failing to include future medical expenses in your claim precludes their recovery, so protect your right to seek full and fair compensation after your accident.

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