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Common drugs could delay brain injury recovery

According to a new study, a class of drugs commonly prescribed to treat conditions like depression, insomnia and bladder issues could make it more difficult for Wisconsin patients to recover from brain injuries. The medications, called anticholinergics, are given to up 50 percent of older patients around the country.

The study, which was conducted by a group of British scientists and published in the journal Brain Injury, examined 52 patients who were treated at a neuro-rehabilitation unit for brain injuries or spinal injuries. Patients in neuro-rehab are often prescribed anticholinergics to alleviate pain, urinary incontinence and other problems. Researchers discovered that patients with higher levels of anticholinergic drug burden, or ACB, in their system had longer average rehab stays than patients with lower levels of ACB.

According to the authors of the study, their research shows a direct correlation between ACB levels and the length of hospitalization. However, they said larger studies must be done to confirm the results. They recommend that treatments other than anticholinergics be used for brain injury patients whenever possible to avoid delaying their recovery.

Wisconsin residents who suffer a brain injury could face weeks or months of recovery time. In many cases, they are left with a permanent disability. If a brain injury was caused due to the negligent actions of another party, it may be beneficial to consult with an attorney. Depending on the details of the case, it may be advisable to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages from the responsible party for the losses that have been sustained.

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