Higher Risks of PTSD, Depression in Patients With Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries

Recent reports in the news suggest mental problems could be more likely in people who suffer mild traumatic brain injuries. These types of injuries are often seen in car accident or assault victims.

The research, which was published in JAMA Psychiatry, indicates that unlike other traumatic injuries not impacting the brain had lower instances of PTSD or depression than people who sustained head injuries.

Patients who had sustained mild traumatic brain injuries had a 21.2 percent risk of developing depression or PTSD up to six months following the accident. The risk in patients who had suffered other types of injuries was far lower at 12.1 percent.

The study analyzed 1,155 patients who had suffered mild traumatic brain injuries and 230 with other types of injuries. The largest percent of mild traumatic brain injury patients (61.8 percent) were hurt in car accidents. Another 29.2 percent were the result of falls or other accident injuries, 6.1 percent were the result of assaults, and3 percent were not specified.

The study also found that patients who had previous histories of mental health problems were far more likely to have an issue than those with no history of issues like depression.

The findings could be used to instruct physicians about the need to screen patients for these types of issues after they have suffered these types of harm.

Mild traumatic brain injuries involve brain injuries such as concussions, but also more severe injuries including one in which the brain is bleeding or a skull fracture. The study is more focused on the more severe injuries that result from car crashes and assaults than on common sports-related concussions.

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