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New study shows how TBI doubles risk for suicide

Traumatic brain injuries are a type of head injury that affects the normal functioning of the brain. They account for about 2.2 million emergency room visits, 280,000 hospitalizations and 50,000 deaths every year throughout Missouri and the rest of the U.S. By affecting one's behavior, emotions and motor functions, they lead to memory, attention, cognitive and coordination impairments.

Up to now recently, more attention has been paid to the immediate physical impact of TBIs and less paid to the long-term consequences of mood disorders and post-traumatic epilepsy. These conditions increase one's risk for dementia as well as suicide.

A Danish study has been able to shed light on this area. Researchers say that when the inflamed and damaged blood vessels caused by TBI disrupt a patient's ability to perform adequately, they become more and more anxious to return to normal. Finding that they cannot do so (in cases of a severe TBI), they run the risk for depression and suicide.

In all, those who have had a TBI are twice as likely to commit suicide compared to those without the condition. The risk goes up with the number of medical visits a TBI patient makes as well as with the length of their hospital stays. Those with longer hospital stays ran the highest risk in the first six months following being discharged.

Someone who incurs a TBI in a car accident, fall, sporting event or other incident may be able to file a claim. They will need to show that the party who caused it was negligent, which is why having a lawyer is so important. Third parties can investigate the brain injury case, gathering proof and determining the extent of the brain injury. The lawyer can then negotiate for a fair settlement covering medical expenses, lost wages and more.

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