Concussions May Cause Blood Flow Irregularities, Even After Symptoms Fade
Concussions—most common among motorcycle riders, contact sports players, and those working in construction, and among those between 18 and 24 years of age—are mild brain injuries caused by bruising, swelling, or tearing of soft brain tissue. Concussions are not limited, though, to the groups of people identified above. An individual who has tripped and fallen may be at risk for suffering a concussion. Similarly, individuals can sustain concussions as a result of a bicycle accident, car accident, or even an altercation with another individual.
While originally thought to be fairly fast-healing, a recent study suggests that concussions may have a lasting effect, even after symptoms disappear. The possible implications for those injured could be grave, particularly if they are considered high risk for subsequent concussions.
Concussion sufferers may experience headaches, sensitivity to light and noise, dizziness, fatigue, and memory problems. These typically last anywhere from seven days to three months. On rare occasions, symptoms can last even longer. In most cases, symptoms disappear within that first week.
Generally, physicians say that sufferers can return to normal activity once concussion symptoms are gone. However, there has been some concern over the years regarding the lasting psychological effects experienced by some concussion sufferers. And now, new evidence suggests that it may be best for sufferers to avoid high-risk or high-contact situations a little longer than previously recommended.
MRI Reveals Blood Flow Irregularities in Asymptomatic Concussion Sufferers
Conducted at the Medical College of Wisconsin, the recent study looked at the brain activity of 27 concussion sufferers who had received an MRI within 24 hours of their injuries (30 percent had also suffered a previous concussion). Researchers also examined the MRIs of a control group containing 27 healthy individuals who had received an MRI but were not treated for a concussion.
Patients who suffered from a concussion had scans the day of their injury, and again eight days after, when most symptoms typically disappear. When comparing those eight day scans to the control group, researchers noted a decrease in blood flow within the brain among the group with the concussions. This suggests that the effects of the injury are still present, even if the patient is asymptomatic.
Additional Brain Injuries Have Grave Consequences
When a concussion patient suffers a secondary injury to the brain before the first has healed, he or she is at high risk for a condition known as second-impact syndrome. Even if the second injury is mild, this condition can lead to permanent disability or death due to a loss of automatic control of blood vessels in the brain and severe swelling and damage to the brain tissue.
When you pair this with the new information, it becomes imperative that concussion sufferers push err on the side of caution when it comes to returning to work (particularly those in the construction industry), sports, or other potentially high risk activities.
Traumatic Brain Injury Due to Work or Automobile Accidents? Contact an Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has been affected by a concussion or other traumatic brain injury, and someone else is to blame, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and time lost at work. Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. can help you navigate the process and help you work toward the best possible outcome for your case. Contact our Green Bay personal injury attorneys or Appleton personal injury attorneys today and request your free initial consultation. Call 920-739-7366 today.