Childhood Head Injury Can Lead To Mental Illness, Even Early Death

Posted: Aug 25 2016, 11:55am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 25 2016, 11:58am CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Childhood Head Injury can Lead to Mental Illness, Even Early Death
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New research suggests that kid's brain injuries even the mild ones can have long-term effect

Childhood brain injuries are more than just a temporary issue. Their impact could be long-lasting and devastating.  

A new research suggests that people who suffer traumatic brain injury in their childhood are more likely to experience serious mental issues in later their life. Even the mild forms of brain injury including concussion can lead to physiological problems in adulthood and early death.

“For some time, there has been speculation within the medical community that there is a strong link between traumatic brain injury and psychiatric issues. Essentially the belief is that the brain injury can trigger or exacerbate the symptoms of a psychiatric illness.” Dr. Bradley Sandella from Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, who was not involved in the study, said.

To confirm the wide range of health risks associated with traumatic brain injury or TBI, researchers analyzed the data of roughly 100,000 people living in Sweden. All the participants were born between 1973 and 1985 and were below 25 when they suffered a traumatic brain injury. The participants were followed for several years and their data was compared with their unhurt siblings to indentify the mental and behavioral problems supposedly linked to brain injury.

Researchers found those who sustained brain injury in their childhood were more likely to have a tougher and unhealthy life compared to those who did not suffered brain injury. They risk of premature death was also higher in brain injury sufferers than their uninjured siblings. More specifically, they have 72% more chances of dying early or before reaching the age of 36.

"The worst outcome is clearly premature mortality, but after that the increased risks of psychiatric hospitalization are notable." Study author Dr. Seena Fazel, a professor of forensic psychiatry at the University of Oxford in England said.

Traumatic brain injury is one of the leading causes of death and disability in United States. An estimated 1.7 million people suffer a traumatic injury every year. Of them 52,000 die while those who survive face health problems and disabilities lasting from few days to rest of their lives. A traumatic brain could be result of a fall down the stairs, a car crash, sport injury or any other jolt or blow to the head and can lead to a cascade of after-effects such as depression, inflammation, thinking and memory problems. 


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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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