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Up to 1 in 5 people with mild brain injuries can have mental problems

Posted 31/01/2019 at 18:37:09CET


A new study reveals that approximately 1 in 5 people may experience mental health symptoms up to six months after a mild traumatic brain injury (LCTL), suggesting the importance of continued medical care in this type of patient.

Scientists also identified factors that may increase the risk of developing a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and / or a major depressive disorder following an LCTL or cerebral disorder through the analysis of a cohort study.

"Mental health disorders after a stroke have been studied primarily in military populations, and there is little knowledge of these results in civilians. These results can help guide follow-up care and suggest that doctors should pay special attention to Mental state of the patients many months after the injury, "says Patrick Bellgowan, one of the authors of this study, published in the journal 'American Medical Association Psychiatry'.

In the study, they investigated mental health outcomes in 1,155 people who had suffered a mild traumatic brain injury and were treated in Urgencias. At three, six and twelve months after the injury, they completed several questionnaires related to PTSD and depression. For a comparison group, the researchers also surveyed people who had suffered orthopedic traumatic injuries, such as fractures in the legs, but that did not have head injuries.

The results showed that at three and six months after the injury, people who had experienced this type of brain injury were more likely than patients with orthopedic traumatisms to suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and / or major depressive disorder.

For example, three months after the injury, 20 percent of patients had mental health problems, compared to 8.7 percent of patients with orthopedic traumatisms. Six months after the injury, the figures reached 21.2 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively.

"Contrary to the usual assumptions, mild head injuries can cause long-term effects. These findings suggest that follow-up care after a head injury, even in mild cases, is crucial, especially for patients who show risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder or depression ", say the authors.

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