Many people in West Virginia are unaware that a concussion and a brain injury are two somewhat different things. While a concussion may cause a person to lose consciousness briefly or not at all, a brain injury usually results in an extended period of lost consciousness. Brain injuries are more severe than concussions and they can cause a range of different life-altering symptoms.
According to research published in PLOS One, researchers believe that they have developed a treatment that could minimize the long and short-term damage caused by a traumatic brain injury. A TBI is defined as any blow to the head that could interfere with the brain's normal function. In severe cases, symptoms can last for several months, and a TBI could lead to Alzheimer's.
Some West Virginia residents may be some of the 2 to 5 million throughout the nation who are living with a disability that was caused by a traumatic brain injury. The number of people who are taken to the emergency room after suffering a traumatic brain injury has risen by 70 percent over the past ten years. Depending on the severity of the injury, individuals can be left with severe medical issues.
West Virginians who have sustained brain injuries may find themselves dealing with some common myths. One of the most common is that all traumatic brain injuries involve bleeding or some form of loss of consciousness. In reality, there are many closed head injuries that do not result in penetration of the skin or skull and do not involve bleeding. Other brain injuries may occur without the victim losing consciousness at all. Even if an injury does not bleed, it can still have serious consequences.
West Virginia residents might have noticed that brain injuries have been a hot topic in recent years, with many news stories coming out about NFL players and combat veterans suffering debilitating problems due to head trauma. However, a person doesn't have to be a professional athlete or a soldier to experience a brain injury. Student athletes and car accident victims often suffer concussions, which are mild traumatic brain injuries.
West Virginians may be interested in findings that concussions increase the risk of dementia in seniors. Approximately 1.7 million Americans experience a minor concussion each year, and 15 percent of those who experience repeated brain injuries experience abnormal brain functioning in the future. Car accidents and contact sports are common causes of concussions and other head injuries. Some research has shown that individuals in their mid-50s who sustain traumatic brain injuries are at an increased risk of developing dementia.
People in West Virginia who suffer even small bumps on the head should beware of symptoms such as headaches over a long period of time, weakness in their legs and arms or difficulty thinking. While most of these bumps are harmless, in a few cases, they can lead to a dangerous brain injury called a subdural hematoma.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, girls who play sports in high school are twice as likely to suffer a concussion compared to male athletes. In addition to suffering concussions at a higher rate, women may take longer to recover from them as well. Another study that was published in Radiology analyzed MRIs in men and women that were taken both immediately after they suffered a concussion and then six weeks after the injury.
Many West Virginians suffer from traumatic brain injuries each year. The injuries may range from mild concussions to severe and permanent disabilities. Recent research shows that even mild traumatic brain injuries may cause ongoing, chronic problems, however.
Recent research into the science behind brain injuries indicates that pressure waves may be a cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). People in West Virginia who have encountered this life-altering injury may find this new research relevant.