A new study by overseas researchers has found that even mild-to-moderate brain injuries can lead to brain damage that harms a victim’s ability to function.
As an author of the study notes in an article on ScienceDaily.com, this finding is important when one considers that about 90 percent of traumatic brain injury cases are in the mild and moderate categories.
These injuries can include concussions that may be suffered from falling off a small ladder at work, getting hit in the head in a sports contest or smashing the dashboard in a relatively minor car accident.
Thinking and Memory Impacted by Brain Injuries
Researchers from Newcastle University conducted the study. Its results were published online on July 14, 2014, by Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Most research into traumatic brain injury tends to focus on severe cases such as those suffered by soldiers in combat. This study focused instead on the types of injuries that are more commonly experienced.
In the study, researchers examined a “test group” of 53 patients who had suffered mild or moderate brain injuries. The researchers compared these patients to a “control group” of 33 patients who had no brain injuries.
The researchers performed special MRI tests called “diffusion tensor imaging scans” on members of the test group within roughly six days after their injuries. These MRIs revealed that test group members had suffered damage to white matter in the brain, or nerve axons that relay messages between brain cells.
Members of both groups also took cognitive tests that measured their thinking and memory abilities. Those with brain injuries scored 25 percent lower on these tests than those without brain injuries.
Even though the test group members scored the same as the control group on the cognitive tests a year later, the MRIs revealed that they were still suffering from brain damage, the study found.
Study Shows Brain Injuries Must Be Taken Seriously
As this study underscores, those who suffer even mild or moderate traumatic brain injury in an incident should take the matter seriously. Even if you think the injury is not severe, you may have suffered harm that is preventing you from being able to function effectively at school or work.
It is important to consult with a physician and, if needed, to be referred to a specialist. The physician should perform proper MRIs and cognitive tests in order to determine if you have sustained damage to areas of your brain.
If you have suffered harm due to the negligence or other wrongful conduct of someone else, it will also be important to contact an experienced attorney.
Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, Social Security Disability benefits or damages through a car accident-related personal injury claim.
A lawyer who understands brain injuries can provide you with a careful review of your case and help you to understand your rights and the options you may have for seeking a recovery for your medical expense and all other losses.