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Traumatic brain injuries can lead to mental health issues

New Jersey residents may be aware that brain injuries can lead to a wide variety of symptoms, including blurred vision, confusion and other side effects. What is not always mentioned, however, is that one's mental health can also be impacted by a concussion.

Multiple studies have shown that a person's emotions or behaviors can actually change following a traumatic brain injury. In some cases, those who suffer a traumatic brain injury develop anxiety or depression. For example, one study found that up to 33 percent of patients experienced depression during the immediate recovery period following a traumatic brain injury. A second study found that approximately 53 percent of patients experienced depression within a year after the incident occurred.

There are several different things that could be going on following a traumatic brain injury. Mood disorders could result when a brain injury causes changes to how a person feels or expresses emotions. Furthermore, a brain injury could create changes in the brain's physical structures. This could have an impact on the brain's ability to transmit electrical signals between cells. Hereditary issues have also been found to play a role as a particular genetic variant that regulates the body's ability to repair neurons has been identified. Finally, inflammation levels after the injury may also contribute to whether or not the person develops depression.

Complications from brain injuries can be extremely serious. Depending on the severity of the brain injury, a person could suffer permanent memory loss, lose cognitive function and even experience changes in his or her mood and behavior. In many cases, the complications can take months or even years to become apparent. A person who experienced a traumatic brain injury in an accident may seek compensation for past and future medical costs, lost income and other damages associated with the accident.

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