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Brain injury raises risk of stroke

| Jan 31, 2015 | Personal Injury

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 800,000 Americans experience a stroke every year. People who are at risk for the event often have conditions such as high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes. As a personal injury lawyer Chicago knows, experiencing a brain injury may also increase the likelihood of having a stroke. Several studies have supported that notion, which offers some hope in the form of preventative measures for at-risk patients in Illinois and across the country.

Supporting studies

A 2013 study published by the American Academy of Neurology found that people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury have a 30 percent higher risk of having a stroke than people who have undergone trauma but did not incur a brain injury. For 28 months, researchers followed more than 1.1 million people who had experienced a traumatic incident. Roughly 1 percent of study participants experienced an ischemic stroke, which occurs when there is an obstruction in a vessel that supplies blood to the brain. The effects of such a stroke can include the following:

  • Paralysis
  • Weakness in one side of the body
  • Emotional and behavioral changes
  • Vision problems
  • Memory loss

A study published two years earlier in the Journal of the American Health Association found that the risk of stroke increased tenfold within three months following a TBI. As a personal injury lawyer in Chicago may have seen, the report found that people who have experienced a TBI should be monitored heavily during the first few months following the event.

Preventing the problem

Experts report that if additional work further suggests that TBI is a risk factor for a stroke, the medical industry may be better equipped to prevent the event. Traumatic brain injuries claim the lives of more than 50,000 people a year, according to the CDC. A slip-and-fall accident is the leading cause of TBI, along with unintentional blunt trauma, motor vehicle accidents and assaults.

Once people who have experienced a brain injury understand they are at risk of having a stroke, they can begin addressing other conditions or habits that are known triggers. Currently, the National Stroke Association recommends that people should improve their diets, exercise regularly and quit smoking. Additionally, any medical risk factors, such as circulatory problems or high blood pressure, should be brought under control through working with a physician.

While not every brain injury or stroke may be preventable, there are ways to reduce risks and hold negligent parties accountable. Anyone who has questions regarding this topic should consult with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago.