Caregiving for a Brain-Injured Loved One Puts Caregivers’ Health at Risk

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When talking about the effects of traumatic brain injury, it can be easy to overlook one of the most significant impacts on the family of the patient. Often when a loved one suffers from a brain injury, someone in the home takes on the role of caregiver.

A recent study published in the journal Biological Research for Nursing has now found that the stress for caregiving for someone with a brain injury can put the caregiver’s own health at risk.

Caregivers, mostly women, of patients with brain injuries usually suffer from the following emotions: grief, blame and anger. These emotions elevate the levels of a specific chemical that is associated with inflammation, which can have an impact on health. Additional stress is felt because caregivers may not have someone to turn to in times of stress.

The study, which involved 40 women who were caregivers for a loved one with traumatic brain injury, also tested saliva samples taken from the participants to assess the levels of a protein called tumor necrosis factor. Researchers found that participants had 25 percent more tumor necrosis factor in their saliva then women who were not caring for someone suffering from a traumatic brain injury.

The results indicated the women’s grief did not result in an increase in tumor necrosis factor, but the feelings of blame and anger which resulted from the grief did. The significance of  higher tumor necrosis factor levels? Higher levels are associated with an increased risk of chronic disease.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Los Angeles accident, Bradley I. Kramer and his experienced legal team are here to help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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