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.
According to a groundbreaking study, amateur male athletes who participate in contact sports in West Virginia and nationwide are more likely to develop a degenerative brain injury called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The research, which was published in Acta Neuropathological in December 2015, was conducted by Minnesota's Mayo Clinic.
West Virginia has an aging population, and many people are living to be older than ever before. This means that geriatric medical issues are assuming more and more significance. One of the unfortunate side effects of aging is an increasing propensity towards bad falls, and head injuries are a common result. Because of the extreme trauma inflicted upon the body by brain surgery, the difficulty of recovery and the expense involved, the prognosis on the elderly has not generally been considered good enough to treat the brain injury through neurosurgery. Now researchers in Finland are working to change this practice.
Many West Virginia residents suffer concussion, which are caused by an impact to the head that causes the brain to hit the inside of the skull. This kind of head injury, often associated with contact sports, could lead to complications, such as thinking and memory problems, headaches, low energy and depression. Athletic helmets are designed to reduce lacerations and skull fractures but not concussions.
Getting proper treatment for a head injury is essential to a person's ability to recover, but it is often hindered by the fact that the level of injury is not properly established. If someone has suffered a head injury, there may be few physical signs of problems, but that does not mean that there is not damage to the person's cognitive abilities. Further, signs of trouble may develop over time rather than being immediately obvious.
Competitive cheerleaders in West Virginia often perform dangerous stunts that expose them to a higher risk for brain injuries, spinal injuries and death. Though cheerleading has yet to be recognized as a sport, cheerleading accidents are the cause of over half of the catastrophic injuries to female athletes that take place. In practice and competitions, cheerleaders suffer from brain injuries, skull fractures, cervical spine injuries and paralysis.