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Possible reason why some brain injuries cause depression found

When determining what damages the defendant owes the plaintiff in a personal injury case, it is first necessary to figure out how the plaintiff’s injuries have affected their quality of life. A plaintiff who suffered a traumatic brain injury is likely to be living with dramatic effects. Brain trauma can cause a range of terrible symptoms, such as pain, nausea, confusion, memory problems and reduced cognitive abilities.

Other times, people develop depression or anxiety after their TBI. These mental disorders can profoundly limit the patient’s ability to work, raise their children and otherwise continue their lives as before the injury.

Though most scientists have agreed over the past few years that a link exists between mild TBIs and depression and anxiety, exactly how the former causes the latter is not clear. However, a new study suggests a possible reason, Medical Daily reports.

After conducting a special version of MRI testing on a small group of concussion patients, researchers concluded that damage to the brain’s white matter could leave patients vulnerable to depression or anxiety.

White matter are the fibers that allow signals to transmit through different parts of the brain. Multiple sclerosis, which causes progressive physical and mental problems, affects white matter.

In the study, subjects with depression had decreased function in the white matter around a part of the brain associated with the reward circuit. Subjects dealing with anxiety had damaged white matter in a part of the brain believed to help regulate the fear response.

If these finding prove correct, they could not only lead to better understanding of how the brain works, but also improved treatment for those dealing with mental illness after a TBI.

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