Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) affect around 1.5 million Americans every year, reports the CDC, and they affect children as well as adults.
TBI can result from a seemingly small bump or jolt to the head, though it can be mild, causing only a brief change to mental consciousness.
If you are subjected to a TBI, it is vital to get help quickly. One recent study by researchers at the University of California – Riverside found that being treated quickly with specific medication can dramatically reduce the likelihood of developing epilepsy later in life.
The above study found that after a head injury, a component of the immune system (an ‘immune receptor’) can make the brain more excitable. This can eventually lead to the onset of epilepsy.
The researchers stated that “If this receptor can be suppressed, preferably within a day after injury, the future development of epilepsy can be reduced if not entirely prevented.”
This can be achieved by providing the injured person with a treatment that stops the receptor from behaving as it normally would.
The Consequences Of Late Action
TBIs can have many long-term consequences for those who face them. Gold medal-winning Olympian James Cracknell faced a TBI while filming a TV show in 2010, and his book Touching Distance reveals the way his life was changed.
He developed epilepsy and memory problems and he lost his sense of taste. He also felt irritable frequently – something that stressed his relationship with his wife, Beverley.
Cracknell said he had so much difficulty coming to terms with his injury that he did not immediately consider other important matters – such as the impact the injury may have had on his career.
Aspects such as finding a TBI Lawyer specialized in the field in order to secure your finances may be the last thing on your mind, but they are important.
With TBI, protecting your health is also dependent on keeping your financial situation in good order. You may need rehabilitation for several weeks or months, so ensuring you are well off financially will help ease the worry.
How Can You Minimize Your Risk Of TBI?
In order to prevent TBI, it is vital to be aware of the biggest risks for it. These include falls, vehicle accidents and sports injuries.
They are most common in children aged zero to four, young adults aged 15 to 24, adults aged 60 and over, and males in all age groups.
If you or your child do sport, it is important to wear the required headgear. If you drive, keep to the speed limit and practice defensive driving.
To prevent falls, strengthen your body through cardiovascular and strength/resistance training. Work on your core through Pilates or floor exercises such as the plank, bridge and butterfly sit-up.
It is important to take action fast and visit a doctor if you or your child could have sustained a TBI. If you lose consciousness, even briefly, don’t wait it out.
Receiving help fast can help reduce long-term consequences of injury, including epilepsy. If you love contact sports, keep doing them, but protect your head using certified protected gear created for your precise sport.