Just A Mild Concussion? It May Increase Your Dementia Risk
Concussions, especially mild ones, are some of the most neglected injuries after an accident. We often dismiss these minor injuries to the head, believing they may go away by themselves without lasting impact.
But concussions are still a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), and new research has found that even a mild concussion can have a dangerous effect later in life – namely, an increased risk for dementia.
Research Links Mild Concussion To More Than Twice The Risk For Dementia
The study was published just this Monday (May 7) in the Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology.It looked into cases of concussion from war combat, car accidents, and falls.
It found that even individuals who suffered a mild concussion without losing consciousness still had a 2.4 times greater risk for dementia in the long-term. Meanwhile, the dementia risk for those who had lost consciousness from their head injury increased by 2.5 times.
The study also saw a much greater risk for people who have had a moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury. For these individuals, the dementia risk increases nearly fourfold.
These results support previous suspicions in the medical community that even mild head injuries somehow contribute to dementia later on. However, a major contributor to the study, Dr. Deborah Barnes of the San Francisco’s Weill Institute for Neurosciences emphasizes that TBI is only one factor and not the sole cause of dementia.
Facts About Concussions And Head Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a concussion is a mild form of TBI which can be caused not only by a blow to the head but also by a rapid back-and-forth movement of the head. The leading causes of concussions are:
- Motor vehicle accident injury
- Accidentally being struck by or against an obstacle
- Sports injuries
Even though concussions are non-life-threatening, they may have serious effects over a longer period. The common symptoms of a concussion affect four areas, namely: thinking and remembering, physical effects (such as sensitivity to light), emotions or mood, and sleep disturbances.
There are also symptoms that indicate more serious effects of a concussion. These symptoms include chronic or worsening headaches, difficulties in movement or coordination, repeated vomiting, and slurred speech.
The CDC recommends that individuals who have had any form of concussion should get checked by a doctor.
Can I Claim Compensation For Increased Risk Of Future Dementia?
If you have suffered a concussion due to someone else’s actions, you may be entitled to claim damages. Some scenarios where this is possible include:
- Car accident or any other traffic accident
- Slip-and-fall accident in someone’s unsafe property
- Construction accident
- Boating accident
- Nursing home abuse
Your compensation may cover your economic losses such as medical bills and lost income, and also your non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.
You may be wondering if you could also be paid for an increased risk of future injury such as dementia. Generally, the risk of future injury is an issue that is precluded (not included) in personal injury cases. There are some cases, however,in which the court considers the victim’s fear of developing a future injury. This fear may be considered a form of mental suffering, for which you may be compensated.
To fully assess what you should be compensated for, and to fight for the maximum amount you deserve, you will need an attorney who specializes in injury cases like yours. In regard to this, avoid rushing towards insurance settlements. Settling early with an insurer is one of the common mistakes that accident victims make – they end up accepting offers before they are aware of the full extent of their injuries.
Talk to a lawyer first, someone who knows what you truly deserve and who will fight for it. You can consult with us for free at Hamparyan Injury Lawyers. Give us a call at (619) 550-1355.
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