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Traumatic brain injury at young age can have long-term impacts

Recent research has shown that adolescent and childhood injury to the brain in individuals in West Virginia and other states can cause long-term impairments later in life. These impairments associated with brain injury have to do with both social outcomes and health outcomes. Unfortunately, traumatic injury to the brain is considered the leading cause of mortality and disability in people below 45 years old, according to the World Health Organization.

Research studies have shown higher rates of unfavorable outcomes in adults who experienced injury to the brain when compared with the population as a whole. However, not many large-scale research studies have been done examining the possible long-term effect of these types of injuries during adolescence and childhood. One study recently focused on this subject, analyzing more than a million individuals, of which more than 104,000 had suffered traumatic injuries to the brain while 25 years old or younger.

The individuals in the study were assessed for different outcomes, such as the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders by a specialist, psychiatric inpatient hospitalization, disability pension and mortality before 41 years of age. Other outcomes assessed included not achieving high school qualifications as well as getting welfare benefits based on means-testing. The research showed that individuals who suffered their first injuries at older ages, between 20 and 24, had a greater than 25 percent increase in their risk for all of the outcomes when compared to individuals between 0 and 4 years of age.

Brain injury can be life altering in West Virginia, and, unfortunately, sometimes these injuries are not the fault of the person suffering them. If an individual suffers traumatic injury to the brain because of the negligence of another person, this other person may be held liable in civil court. Liability must be established in a manner that the civil court finds satisfactory before claims for damages will be decided.

Source: healio.com, "Childhood traumatic brain injury linked to long-term health issues", Aug. 31, 2016

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