Study Suggests Head Traumas May Lead To Premature Brain Aging

On behalf of Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C.

A study conducted by British researchers has added new fuel to concerns that head injuries might be the source of signs of premature aging in the brains of victims, a finding that may have implications for personal injury cases in Wisconsin. The researchers examined brain scans from 99 people who had suffered traumas arising from falls, assaults and motor vehicle accidents, including scans from periods of one month to 46 years following the traumatic events. The researchers noticed that signs of inflammation and impairment appeared in some victims many years after the initial cause of the injuries.

The researchers built a computer model by comparing the scans of brain injury victims against scans taken from individuals who were known to have healthy brains. According to the researchers, the results show that persons who have survived traumatic events show signs of premature onset of brain health issues more commonly associated with aging, including the advent of dementia. They stated that they expect the model can be used as a screening method to better identify at-risk patients and intervene sooner. Doctors would be able to confront potential cases of neurodegenerative disease and prescribe courses of treatment to prevent or delay the onset of the worst symptoms associated with them.

These findings add to concerns that personal injury attorneys have about whether injured plaintiffs are being duly compensated for brain traumas. Any settlement or judgment arising from a personal injury needs to address long-term health questions.

Attorneys will look to research like this in order to better demonstrate how lasting the harm caused by a head injury can be. This may be helpful to individuals who are trying to obtain compensation due to a reduced ability to perform work or enjoy their lives in the aftermath of a brain trauma.