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Individuals with mild brain trauma injuries at risk for PTSD

West Virginia residents may be surprised to learn that more than just extreme head injuries can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. A recent study of civilian emergency services providers showed that patients who had experienced mild traumatic brain injuries also had an increased risk for PTSD.

The study, which appeared in Journal of Neurotrauma, showed that approximately 27 percent of mTBI patients produced positive results for PTSD. Researchers evaluated the civilians for physical functioning, psychiatric history, mental flexibility, education and the circumstances of their accidents. Their screening for the disorder took place six months after their injuries.

The findings could help physicians treating brain injury patients to improve their diagnostic processes. Because of the relationship between the two problems, physicians could more closely monitor patients with head trauma for signs of post-trauma symptoms. The editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neurotrauma said that examinations for PTSD should become routine for civilian victims of head injuries.

The disabling effects of brain injuries sometimes take weeks or months to become apparent in an accident victim. When delayed brain damage begins to manifest, particularly after a car accident, the person might have trouble going to work or maintaining a quality of life. To pursue financial damages, the victim could consult an attorney. If a negligent person or organization caused the accident, then an attorney might prepare a lawsuit. After filing papers with the court that detail the evidence, the lawyer might be able to secure a financial settlement. When necessary, the matter could be taken to trial, where the attorney would present the evidence to a jury.

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