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The link between traumatic brain injuries and strokes

Traumatic brain injuries are often the result of major motor vehicle accidents, falls or construction site accidents. They may lead to impaired movement, memory and speech, or in severe cases, to permanent disability that takes away your ability to work or even care for yourself.

Unfortunately, these are not the only consequences that come from traumatic brain injuries. Scientific studies have also linked them to a higher risk of suffering a stroke.

The stroke-related effects of a TBI

Traumatic brain injuries raise the odds of ischemic stroke by 31 percent, becoming a greater risk factor than even high blood pressure. Those who experience the severest brain damage also have the highest rate of dying after a stroke. These risks seem to have the most effect on those under 50 years old.

Despite these facts, researchers do not know why stroke risk increases following a TBI. The evidence so far only shows strong correlation, not actual causation. Possible explanations are that the head trauma leads to blood vessel damage in the brain or abnormal blood coagulation.

Lowering the risk

You can lower stroke risk by taking common preventative action, such as having a healthy diet and exercise routine. It is also important to know the signs of a stroke and to get regular medical care. Most important is seeking medical attention immediately following an accident involving head trauma. TBI symptoms do not always show up right away, so have a qualified healthcare provider examine you afterward, even if you seem fine.

Financial consequences of TBIs

The long-term health effects of a TBI, including higher risk of stroke, come with a high financial cost as well. It is likely you cannot afford to pay for all the medical expenses and lost wages, and your insurance company may not cover all of it either. In these cases, seeking legal assistance can help you obtain financial compensation for your injuries.