When a person suffers a brain injury, the immediate concern is what type of long-term damage the injury will cause. Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, often result in physical, mental, and emotional disabilities that may never heal.
Even if a person with a TBI is able to resume some normal function after treatment and therapy, new evidence shows that the patient’s brain may age much faster than the brain of a person without a TBI. This may mean that TBI patients are susceptible to age-related brain diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia at a much earlier age.
The study used a computer model to analyze the brain of 113 healthy individuals and 99 individuals with TBIs. The computer was able to accurately predict the age of the healthy individuals by analyzing an MRI scan of the brain, but predicted that brains of people with TBIs were much older. The worse a patient’s brain injury, the older the computer predicted the person to be.
The computer was also able to detect the additional aging in the patient’s brains regardless of how long it had been since the injury. People in the study received their injuries from a time period ranging from one month before the study to 46 years before the study.
Unlike most injuries, the brain does not have a good ability to heal. Neural cells do not replace themselves like skin or muscle cells, which means that traumatic brain injuries usually last a lifetime. However, there is evidence that the brain is able to re-wire itself, and learn new ways to do old tasks. This means that some TBI patients are eventually able to improve using different, uninjured parts of the brain.
Traumatic brain injuries are common after auto accidents, assaults, falls, or similar head injuries. TBI patients often need a lifetime of treatment and therapy, which can be extraordinarily expensive. After this study, it seems as though TBI patients are also more susceptible to age-related brain disease much soon sooner than uninjured adults, possibly requiring even more medical care.
If you or your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you need an attorney who understands both the law and medicine like Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. As both an attorney and a doctor, our office has the expertise you need to prove your claim, and can help you get the compensation you need for long-term care.
For a free consultation with a California injury attorney, contact Bradley I. Kramer today by calling (310) 289-2600 or use our online case evaluation form to have your claim reviewed for free.