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One Concussion can Lead to Permanent Brain Damage - Jones Law Group

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One Concussion can Lead to Permanent Brain Damage

The “Radiology” Study[1]

From 2005-2012 the Department of Radiology at the New York University School of Medicine conducted a study of persons with mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI). Concussions are widely classified as mild traumatic brain injuries. MTBI are typically caused by a blow to the head or a whiplash injury.[2] A whiplash injury can cause MTBI because the impact of a car accident will cause the brain to actually bounce back and forth off the sides of the skull. Car accidents are the leading cause of concussions followed by sports accidents. The persons selected to participate in the study scored between a 13-15 on the Glasgow Scale, which is a test commonly used by physicians to gauge the severity of a closed head injury. A Glasgow score of 13-15 indicates a MTBI.

Ultimately, 32 patients were selected for the study. Initial MRIs and cognitive tests were taken and analyzed. Follow up tests were given periodically over the course of the study period. Control subjects were tested in the same manner.

The Results – There Appears to be a Link Between Concussions, Depression, Anxiety and Loss of Cognitive Ability

The study found that one year after the traumatic event up to 20% of the patients were still suffering from post concussive symptoms including:

1. Headaches;
2. Fatigue or drowsiness;
3. Difficulty sleeping;
4. Dizziness;
5. Loss of coordination;
6. Confusion;
7. Memory loss;
8. Anxiety;
9. Irritability; and
10. Depression.

The study also found that pathological indicators of brain damage became more pronounced as time progressed in some of the patients. After one year, measurable global brain atrophy was noticed in those patients. Neuropsychologic testing indicated further decreases in cognitive ability. The results of this study were quite surprising since many in the medical community had routinely espoused a belief that the effects of a MTBI were temporary and short lived. The fact that many people actually show further deterioration occurring after the incident is further evidence that more testing is needed to identify and treat concussions.

Unfortunately, only a small fraction of MTBI initially appear visible on CT scans or MRIs. For this reason, insurance companies generally try to downplay the significance of a concussion which leads to unfair offers of compensation for accident victims who suffer a traumatic brain injury.

Concussions in Children

Concussions are often overlooked especially in car accidents in which a small child is a passenger. Small children may not be able to verbalize the symptoms effectively, but may have suffered a whiplash injury in the accident. The parent, in the heat of the moment, sees a conscious baby with no visible injuries and assumes that everything is fine. Although concussions in small children are much more difficult to diagnose, Doctors are trained to use a variation of the Glasgow Scale to arrive at an accurate diagnosis.

The “Suck it up” Mentality

Even President Obama has seen fit to speak on the concussion epidemic in this country and has urged people to set aside what he calls, “the suck it up” mentality regarding concussions in this country. For years, especially in the athletic arena, people suffering from a concussion were urged to get back in there. There is no worse advice that can be given. Studies have shown that the long term brain damage associated with a single concussion is multiplied exponentially when multiple traumatic brain injuries are suffered in a relatively short period of time.

If you or a loved one are suffering from any of the symptoms of a concussion, immediately seek the care of a physician. It is extremely important not to ignore the symptoms and assume they will go away.

Contact Jones Law Group

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you.

Whether you were a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or the occupant of car, motorcycle or boat and have been injured in an accident, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.

Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707



[1] http://pubs.rsna.org/doi/full/10.1148/radiol.13122542

[2] http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/neck-strain-whiplash

Heath Murphy

About the Author

Heath Murphy is a partner at Jones Law Group and focuses on personal injury law. He has been working as a lawyer for 18 years and routinely writes about auto accidents, wrongful death, and personal injury laws.

Read more: Heath’s Bio