A recent study has added to the disheartening news for Californians about the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury. The study was presented at the American Headache Society’s annual meeting and was done by researchers at the University of Oklahoma. The study found that soldiers still suffered as much from the symptoms of traumatic brain injury eight years after the injury as they did in the beginning.
The researchers looked at the experiences of 500 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The veterans all had suffered a traumatic brain injury, usually in an explosion or in a south Florida car accident. The researchers wanted to know if the veterans fared better in their conditions over time. They studied the veterans in the one to four year period following their injuries as well as in the five to eight year period.
The researchers found that the veterans suffered as much, if not more, from their injuries eight years after the traumatic event that caused it. The symptoms of post-concussive syndrome include dizziness, headaches, depression and memory problems.
The researchers concluded that traumatic brain injuries are very difficult to treat and may never fully heal. It has been shown that repeat traumatic brain injuries can lead to early-onset dementia and other long-term cognitive problems as well as mental health issues, such as depression. More research needs to be done to find the treatments that most help people with traumatic brain injuries.