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Scientists uncover psychological effects for brain injury victims

Brain injuries can happen in a wide variety of circumstances. Whether damage to the brain happens as the result of a car accident, a fall, participation in sports, or as the result of a service-related injury, the effects that brain injuries have on victims are often life changing.

While we know that brain injuries have life-changing effects, the full extent of these effects is not known and has been the subject of many scientific studies in recent years. One such study recently reviewed the records of military members who sustained traumatic brain injuries, and its findings were very disturbing.

According to the study conducted by Craig Bryan of the National Center for Veterans Studies, approximately 22 percent of soldiers who sustained more than one traumatic brain injury reported having thoughts of suicide. In comparison, about 6 percent of soldiers who had only one traumatic brain injury reported having suicidal thoughts.

Although this specific study looked at soldiers, it highlights the serious effects a brain injury can have on a person’s well being and quality of life.

As scientists continue to expand our understanding of brain injuries, we are learning more about the serious toll these injuries can take on their victims’ lives. In addition to the psychological and emotional consequences of a brain injury, victims often suffer physically debilitating symptoms and need medical assistance for the rest of their lives. This is because a brain injury can seriously impair a person’s senses of sight and hearing. In addition, brain injuries often disrupt motor skills and use of language.

Source: PBS, “A New Link Between Traumatic Brain Injury and Suicide,” Sarah Childress, May 15, 2013

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