Study Finds That Depression Often Follows Traumatic Brain Injury

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depression_TBIApproximately 1.7 million Americans suffer traumatic brain injuries every year, and many of these people face a very difficult situation when it comes to recovering from this type of harm. That's because the symptoms and challenges that people may be forced to face when they suffer a traumatic brain injury can be extremely unpredictable and all but impossible to manage. Despite remarkable progress in recent years with regards to the study of this medical problem, many patients still face uncertain futures as do their families and friends who work to support them however they can.

Given all of this uncertainty, researchers are attempting to learn more about the aftermaths of these traumatic brain injuries so that they can map expectations and be prepared to help people as they struggle to regain their control and enjoyment of life. One such effort has been made recently with a study that was completed by researchers at the University of Iowa. That study looked at the potential risk faced by traumatic brain injury survivors of developing depression as they fight to overcome the harm they have suffered.

According to the results of the study, there appears to be a link between suffering a traumatic brain injury and a subsequent bout with depression. The researchers followed a group of 91 people who had suffered a traumatic brain injury and compared them with a control group of 27 people. They found that one-third of those who had suffered a brain injury were diagnosed with clinical depression within one year of the original injury. This was a far greater percentage than those members of the control group, and depression was not the only condition that was noted.

Of those patients who had suffered from both traumatic brain injuries and depression, 77 percent also reported suffering from symptoms of anxiety and 57 percent reportedly displayed signs of aggressive behavior. It was not known whether these additional problems were linked to the depression or to the original traumatic brain injury, but the study appears to have uncovered a potential series of problems that people who suffer in this manner could be more likely to endure than others, even those who are injured in other ways. People who had encountered these maladies also showed a reduced level of gray matter in the brain.

It does not seem to be a huge surprise that people who suffer traumatic brain injuries tend to encounter depression later on, as the brain's chemistry is altered when people are injured in this manner. What will likely need to be further defined is how this progression develops specifically so that perhaps it can be better anticipated and treated. Anything that helps smooth the path towards recovery for those forced into this position will be a benefit to them, to their families and to society as a whole. This study also shows that anyone who has been harmed in this manner needs to contact the traumatic brain injury lawyers at the Scarlett Law Group today to schedule a free initial consultation.