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Concussions increase risk of dementia

Anyone involved in an automobile collision is at risk for concussion. Louisiana motorists and passengers should know that bumps or jolts to the head resulting in concussion symptoms can have serious long-term consequences; these incidents should be factored into calculating damages for injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents.

Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI. The Mayo Clinic classifies TBIs as a "disruption in the normal function of the brain" that can be caused by a blow to the head or penetrating head injury. Mild TBIs can be caused even without an external blow to the head if the brain crashes against the interior of the skull as is common in a whiplash injury. TBIs are classified by medical professionals in a range from mild to severe. A mild TBI does not require a loss of consciousness and typically brings concussion symptoms that can include headaches, dizziness, fuzzy thinking or memory loss.

Researchers have discovered disturbing links between TBIs and increased risks for developing dementia. Individuals with a single severe TBI have a 35 percent higher chance of dementia. With a single TBI classified as mild, chances increase by 17 percent, and individuals with two incidents of TBI experience an increased risk of 33 percent. Those having four TBIs have a 63 percent higher probability of dementia, and if one has five or more TBIs, the risk skyrockets by as much as 183 percent. Timing is also relevant. When a TBI happens in a person's 20s, he or she is up to 60 percent more likely to develop early onset dementia in his or her 50s.

Getting proper documentation of injuries is a critical component of a personal injury claim. A qualified personal injury lawyer may help clarify the consequences and potential risks associated with brain injuries so that clients can be better informed when seeking full and fair compensation for damages sustained in injury accidents.

Source: Mayo Clinic. "Concussion: Symptoms and Causes." Accessed 4/18/2018.

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