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Study: Traumatic brain injury symptoms can last years

Doctors used to believe that after a car accident, a fall or a collision in sports, that the effects of a concussion -- dizziness, headaches, memory difficulties -- would disappear with a little rest and time. But a new study suggests that that was wishful thinking.

The study of traumatic brain injuries sustained in combat-related activities by U.S. soldiers showed that many of the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome failed to improve over periods of up to eight years.

It's a disheartening result not only for our brave, injured veterans but also for those who suffer similar injuries in motor vehicle accidents or other violent incidents.

The University of Oklahoma study suggests the post-concussion syndrome -- a collection of symptoms including headaches, depression, dizziness, difficulties with memory or judgment and poor coordination -- can persist for years.

The study was of 500 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who had tested positive for traumatic brain injury between June of 2008 and April of last year.

The veterans were then screened to determine the severity and persistence of the symptoms associated with head injuries.

The data was then organized in chronological groups for those soldiers who had suffered their injuries within the previous four years or within five to eight years before the screening took place.

Nearly half who had suffered brain injuries within the previous four years said they still suffered mild to moderate headaches and nearly all of the rest, about 46 percent, said they were still experiencing severe headaches.

The numbers didn't improve among those who had experienced traumatic brain injuries five to eight years earlier: 51 percent said they still experienced severe headaches and nearly all of the others reported mild or moderate headaches.

Our law firm represents car accident victims who suffer brain injuries. If you would like more information, please visit our La Crosse brain injury page.

Source: New York Times, "Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury Can Persist for Years," July 18, 2012

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