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Some recover better than others from brain injury

Recently, researchers conducted a study in which they tried to understand why some people recover their cognitive functions better than others after traumatic brain injury.

Also known as TBI, traumatic brain injury typically results from a sudden, violent blow to the head, such as in a car accident or a bad fall. These impacts can directly damage the brain tissue, or damage the brain tissue through swelling. Severe TBI can cause death or coma, and even relatively mild TBI can cause headaches, personality changes and cognitive problems.

Since brain tissue does not heal the same way other parts of the body can, these symptoms can be permanent. However, some people manage to recover. The recent study tried to understand why.

Researchers met with people who had suffered TBI a few weeks after their injury and again a few years later, giving them tests in order to assess their cognitive functions. They also gave the tests to a control group of adults who did not have TBI. Compared to the control group, the TBI patients did worse on their tests on both occasions. However, researchers noted a significant improvement between the first assessment and the follow-up a few years later.

When researchers went over the data further, they found that the biggest improvements were among younger TBI patients and those who had higher IQs before their injury.

TBI can change the lives of a whole family forever. The injured person may never be able to return to work, may need extensive medical care, and may even need around-the-clock care for the rest of their lives. The cost of these damages can be massive.

When TBI results from an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the injured and their families may make a personal injury claim in order to pursue compensation for their damages. A skilled personal injury attorney can talk to the injured and their families about their options and the legal strategies that can help.