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Traumatic brain injury may increase suicide risk

People in West Virginia and elsewhere who have suffered head injuries may be impacted by the physical symptoms of these types of injuries, such as dizziness and memory problems. However, these injuries can also cause psychological problems. A recent research study suggested that traumatic brain injury sufferers have a two-times greater chance of dying by suicide compared with those without a history of brain injury.

For the research study, researchers looked at data on over seven million people who lived in another country between 1980 and 2014 and were at least 10 years old then. During this time period, nearly 568,000 -- or nearly 8 percent -- had received brain injury treatment. By late 2014, more than 34,000 of these people had died as a result of suicide.

Among those without a history of brain injury, the rate of suicide was 20 in 100,000 individuals per year compared with 41 in 100,000 individuals per year for those with brain injuries. The reason for this is that brain trauma can impact this organ's functions. This can lead to psychological issues and thus boost a person's suicide risk.

Sadly, a brain injury can drastically affect a person's quality of life long term. However, if a person's brain injury was the result of another person's negligence -- such as a fellow driver's carelessness -- the victim has the right to file a personal injury claim against this other party, seeking damages. A successfully fought claim in Virginia might lead to monetary damages that may help to cover medical expenses and other losses stemming from the brain injury-causing accident.

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