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Study finds that Brain Trauma increases risk of stroke


A recent study undergone by the University of Michigan found that victims of traumatic brain injuries are more likely to fall victim to ischemic strokes. In an ischemic stroke, blood flow to the brain is blocked and reduced, causing extensive brain damage or death. The researchers scoured the records of California hospitals of patients admitted to the emergency room for trauma between 2005 and 2009, and found that the occurrence of a traumatic brain injury increased the risk of an ischemic stroke by 31 percent. This makes a brain injury tied with hypertension, or high blood pressure, as the leading cause of ischemic strokes.

The study suggests that traumatic brain injuries cause abnormal blood clotting in the brain, as well as damage to the brain's blood vessels, leaving a person at greater risk for a stroke. These types of injuries are extremely common, with over 1.7 million of these injuries reported by Americans per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These statistics are alarming, due to the correlation between brain injuries and later strokes, and suggest that millions of Americans are at risk for ischemic strokes.

The link between traumatic brain injuries and later health problems has been well-documented. Traumatic brain injuries such as concussions have been known to cause a condition called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which entails mental problems such as dementia, memory loss, and depression, which can lead to suicide for some sufferers. Needless to say, the problem is extremely serious.

Anyone impacted by a traumatic brain injury is entitled to financial compensation for their injuries. If the injury came about as a result of a workplace injury, the worker has the right to worker's compensation benefits, and may file a personal injury lawsuit against his or her employer if negligence is the cause of the accident.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Brain trauma seems to increase risk of ischemic stroke," Melissa Healy, June 27, 2013.

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