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Study assesses brain injury and stroke connection

In Wisconsin and across the country, someone who receives a serious brain injury could be at higher risk of having a stroke, and that risk could be comparable to the risk of stroke with high blood pressure. About one in five strokes occur in people under 65 although the reasons for this in a younger age group are not clearly known. However, the results of a stroke can be extremely serious.

In the past two decades, the main medical advance in stroke prevention is a drug that destroys blood clots. The medication is given shortly after a stroke in order to prevent further blood clots and additional brain injuries. The American Heart Association reports that blocked blood flow to the brain is related to 87 percent of strokes.

The author of the study indicated that medical personnel need to look for other factors that could play a key role in causing strokes, especially in the under-65 population. Someone who already has suffered a brain injury has a number of physical changes, such as brain rewiring and more frequent headaches, that could increase their stroke risk.

The study followed a number of people who had suffered from TBI and trauma from 2005 to 2009. When all factors were considered, those with TBI were at a 30 percent greater risk of suffering from a stroke than their peers who had not had a brain injury. However, the connection between brain trauma and stroke is still unknown. One theory speculates that injury to an artery could increase the risk of stroke. Another thought is that the trauma to the brain increases the risk of blockage.

When someone suffers a serious brain injury, they could be at risk for increased health complications. A personal injury attorney might be able to help clients pursue financial compensation if another party was responsible for the injury.

Source: Florida Today, "Study: Brain injury may increase stroke risk", Healthday, June 27, 2013

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