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Mid-life brain injury related to dementia

With each generation, the urgency for protecting children from accidents increases. As medical science continues unraveling the mysteries of the brain, preventing head injuries grows in importance. Car seats, bike helmets and new concussion protocol are just a few ways in which safety advocates have sought to prevent young people from suffering serious brain injuries.

However, new research shows that young people are not the only ones whose lives can be irreversibly changed by a traumatic brain injury. A recent international study shows that if you suffer a moderate to severe brain injury after age 41, you face the potential for future complications even if you seem to make a full recovery.

Moderate to severe brain damage

Many traumatic brain injuries are the result of a fall, and if your injury was moderate to severe, you probably spent some time in a hospital. Additionally, doctors arrived at a diagnosis of moderate to severe brain trauma because you experienced brain lesions that are not present in cases of mild brain injury. In other words, you may have suffered one of the following in your brain:

  • Blood clot
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising

About one third of all victims of moderate to severe brain trauma die from their injuries. Of the survivors, half suffer permanent effects. Whether you are among that 50 percent or among the half of victims fortunate enough to have returned to a somewhat normal life, your troubles may not be over. Studies show that if your injury occurred in your middle age, you are 3.5 percent more likely to develop a degenerative neurological disease as you get older.

Even after recovery, your suffering may not be over

This study does not say that a head injury causes dementia, but the data indicates there is a significant association between the two. If your brain injury occurred between the ages of 51 and 60, your chances of developing dementia may double. If you were in your forties, you may be three times as likely to suffer from a neurodegenerative disease.

You can understand why it is important to protect the brains of children and young adults. Studies like these are suggesting that a traumatic brain injury may leave you with permanent damage and may even result in a deteriorating quality of life. While a younger victim of a brain injury may have more time and ability to recover, adults -- especially those older than 40 -- may not be so fortunate.

Victims of brain injuries resulting from negligence or intentional acts may be eligible for compensation. To learn more about your legal options, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

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