Mild brain injury, commonly known as concussion, is a common injury and cause of emergency room visits. When a strong body blow or a mild to severe head impact is sustained concussions can occur. They can result from a car accident, a slip and fall, a workplace mishap, or a sports injury. Family and friends of concussion patients have long noted changes in physical symptoms, personality, and mood, along with depression after the injury of their loved one.
New diagnostic tools, monitoring, and return to work and play guidelines are being developed but the fact remains that once a concussion is sustained the after-effects can linger and be difficult to recover from. We know that concussions can cause headaches, sleep problems, and mild cognitive impairment. According to Public Health Ontario, the number of concussion-related emergency room visits has quadrupled in the last fifteen years. It is unknown if the increase in hospital visits is due to better awareness of how serious concussion is or due to an increased incidence of brain injury. It’s likely a combination of both factors.
Reports of people falling into depression after a head injury are relatively common. Depression appears to be more frequent in people suffering from concussion with cognitive impairment, but until now there hasn’t been a large study confirming a relationship. A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry examining thousands of brain injury survivors has confirmed this suspicion.
This study had four key findings. Depression was more common in those with cognitive impairment from mild brain injury. Those with mild brain injury and depression are more likely to develop dementia. Depression is a significant factor in patients’ quality of life. Early intervention and treatment of the symptoms of concussion and depression result in better outcomes.
Recommendations from healthcare professionals all begin with concussion prevention being the key. Following a concussion, a prompt diagnosis and treatment result in better outcomes for patients. Return to work and play protocols help in the recovery process.
It is important to seek medical care anytime you suspect that someone may have a concussion. It’s equally important to continue to seek treatment and therapy once diagnosed. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an accident-related brain injury, consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer is important. They can help secure funding for ongoing treatment and the security of your loved one and family. You can reach us at Deutschmann Personal Injury and Disability Law and make an appointment for your first free intial consulation by calling 1.866.414.4878