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The connection between PTSD and brain injury

Based on the results of some studies, West Virginia residents who suffer a head injury might also develop post-traumatic stress disorder. In fact, researchers believe that what is called post-concussion syndrome may actually be PTSD. This reinforces findings in previous research as well as scientists' growing conviction about a link between head injury and PTSD.

Post-concussion syndrome involves dizziness and headaches, and symptoms can arise after even a mild injury. However, a study conducted by French and American scientists also found a link to the hyper-arousal symptoms that accompany PTSD. It examined a total of 1,361 patients with head injuries and injuries unrelated to the head. The researchers found that 16 percent of the patients without head injuries and 21 percent of patients who did have head injuries suffered post-concussion syndrome and that its symptoms were similar to those of hyper-arousal PTSD.

A study on Marines and Navy personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq found that a concussion doubled the likelihood of PTSD. A University of California study that examined the brains of rats found that those with a traumatic brain injury had more action in the amygdala without balance from the part of the brain that keeps emotions in check.

A person may develop a traumatic brain injury in situations other than combat. Car accidents, falls and contact sports are all common causes. There may be a number of other complications associated with a traumatic brain injury in addition to PTSD. These might include symptoms that do not show up immediately including delayed brain damage. Delayed symptoms mean that a person who is injured in such an accident might find that the responsible party tries to argue that the symptoms are unrelated. Such an injured victim might want to meet with an attorney and discuss how to proceed.

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