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Risk of suicide increases significantly after a concussion

The medical community has known for some time now that a concussion or other traumatic brain injury may cause depression and behavioral changes in those who suffer them. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that people who have suffered a concussion have at least triple the risk of suicide compared to those who haven't.

Those whose concussions occurred on a weekend had four times greater than those who'd had no concussion. This increased risk of suicide was present among people of all demographic characteristics.

In this study, researchers looked at data involving more than 235,000 people in Ontario who had suffered a concussion within the past twenty years. Most of them had no previous history of a psychiatric disorder or suicide attempt. Of those who committed suicide (667), the mean period of time between the concussion and the suicide was almost six years.

The study's author postulated that the difference in the higher suicide risk among those whose concussions occurred on the weekend as opposed to a weekday (four times versus three times greater risk) may be explained by how and where the concussions occurred. Weekend concussions were more likely suffered during some type of recreational activity, when people were less likely to seek medical attention. Those occurring during the week more commonly occurred at work, so the victim was more likely to be sent to a doctor or hospital.

As the study's lead researcher noted, the results of the study show how essential it is for people who have suffered a TBI to receive regular medical assessments over the long term, just as they would for a chronic disease. This can help doctors spot any troubling signs that may indicate that the person is suffering from depression or other changes in his or her mental state that could be red flags.

This long-term care should be factored in to any settlement that a TBI victim seeks from a defendant who is considered to be responsible for the injury. An Ontario personal injury lawyer can help you do that.

Source: Medical Daily, "Suicide Risk Increases 3-Fold In Adults After Concussion, Traumatic Brain Injury," Jaleesa Baulkman, accessed March 03, 2016

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