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New Study Shows Concussion PTSD Link

Jason Reese

A new study of war veterans significantly strengthens the evidence of a concussion PTSD link, showing that sustaining a concussion can make a person much more likely to also experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A team of researchers studied nearly 2,000 service members from Camp Pendleton in southern California, assessing them both before and after their deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan. They found even mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as a concussion, doubled the likelihood these veterans would develop PTSD.

The research team discovered significant changes to the brain’s fear centers after traumatic brain injury. In essence, a concussion or other TBI causes changes to the part of the brain that decides whether or not to be afraid based on sensory stimuli. Subjects with TBI showed lower than expected levels of activity in parts of the brain intended to dampen the fear response as appropriate. The result is an extremely heightened fear response to stimuli, whether there is actual danger present or not. This heightened fear response, over time, can lead to the development of PTSD.

Sustaining a Head Injury in an Accident Can Change Your Life

Of course, this new research on the concussion PTSD link has implications for those who suffer head injuries in a variety of ways. We have written before about car accident victims who suffer from PTSD. I know, as do all the attorneys at Wagner Reese, that being in a serious car accident changes lives and never for the better. This new study gives credence to what we’ve seen personally in our offices—there are often victims of more minor accidents who end up suffering terribly, sometimes for the rest of their lives. The reality of any accident resulting in a head injury is we don’t fully know the cost to the victim right away. The emotional costs of an accident can be extremely high and don’t always correlate with the severity of the accident itself or with the immediately visible physical injuries.

Medical attention after an accident is absolutely critical, even if you “don’t feel very bad” or because you believe “they won’t do anything for me anyway.” A diagnosis of concussion can help you to understand physical and mental symptoms you may experience in the days following an accident. If those symptoms worsen and you find yourself suddenly incapacitated, not only will you have a better foundation for treatment, but your doctor will be able to recognize the concussion PTSD link much more quickly. Should a lawsuit become necessary, you will have laid the groundwork for the work you will do with your attorneys to show a connection between the accident, your symptoms, and the physical and emotional costs you are incurring.

Do not ignore psychological symptoms after an accident. You may be suffering from PTSD, depression, or any of a number of debilitating conditions that can be linked to the mild head injuries sustained in a car accident or a fall. If this is happening to you, call us today at (888) 204-8440 to discuss your possible case against the person whose wrongdoing caused the injury to occur. Your initial consultation is totally FREE and confidential.


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