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30% of Brain Injury Victims Suffer from Depression


A study reports that almost one-third of all cases of TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) eventually lead the sufferer to a depression experience. A Vanderbilt University Medical Center team spent a considerable amount of time analyzing existing research on such brain injury-inducing incidents as: blunt force trauma to the head from traffic accidents, falls, sports and assaults.

Attorneys have long seen the correlation between the two events, but it is always welcome when an expert in the field corroborates the evidence. “Any patient who has a traumatic brain injury is at a real risk for developing depression, short and long term,” the study’s co-author said in a medical center news release.

“It doesn’t matter where on the timeline that you check the patient population — six months, 12 months, two years, five years — the prevalence is always around 30 percent across the board.” Compare this to the rate of depression in the general population which is about 9 to 10 percent, and the issue is apparent.

Each year, U.S. hospital emergency departments treat 1.2 million cases of traumatic brain injury. At 30%, these findings suggest that at least 360,000 of those patients will suffer depression sometime after their head injury. Whether it is immediately after or in weeks, months, or years – the study doesn’t pinpoint when each victim will experience it, it just highlights that is should be a serious consideration for loved ones of TBI sufferers to consider.

The authors of the study said their findings are important because it is still being debated whether antidepressants are a safe and effective treatment for the brain-injured. Brain Injury doctors based in New York agree that there is currently a lack of research in the area.

The co-director of the Vanderbilt Evidence-based Practice Center said, in a news release that, “It’s unacceptable, with so many people sustaining TBIs — both in combat and civilian life — that we know so little about treating depression in this population.”

With more research into the area, advancements will be made in the area. At the very least, figuring out whether brain-injury patients in NYC or Westchester should have their depression treated differently than patients without TBI is of utmost importance.

Sufferers of brain injuries – in combat, on the job, as a result of accidents, etc. – should contact their New York Brain Injury Attorney to explore their options for compensation.

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