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.