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Connection between brain injury and PTSD emerges in new study

Physicians in Pennsylvania may soon start monitoring more patients with brain injuries for signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. The findings of a study published in the Journal of Neurotrauma indicated that 27 percent of subjects with mild traumatic brain injuries exhibited symptoms of PTSD six months after their head injuries.

Researchers selected civilian emergency services providers that had experienced trauma to their brains. The research team included people from various universities, hospitals and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They tested the mental health and functioning of the subjects and looked for signs of functional disability and psychiatric problems. Researchers also assessed the subjects' ability to process visual information and operate with mental flexibility.

Because of the apparent relationship between injuries to the brain and PTSD, physicians could use this information to monitor their patients for problems months after their initial accidents. A medical professor who commented on the study said that evaluations for PTSD among civilian patients should become more routine because injuries could trigger symptoms.

A person suffering from a brain injury might experience physical disabilities, cognitive problems or emotional issues. These symptoms could impede the person's ability to earn income. If someone's negligence led to the accident that caused the injury, then the person might seek compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation and lost pay. If the victim feels overwhelmed by the tasks necessary to begin a lawsuit, then an attorney could prepare the court filings. This service could include documenting evidence of the responsible party's reckless actions, obtaining medical testimony and tallying the victim's costs. The lawyer could manage negotiations for a settlement or take the case to trial.

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