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New Study Links Concussions With An Alarming Health Risk

Human skull X-ray image isolated on black

Being involved in an accident can be a traumatic and terrifying ordeal. If you are injured, your life may suddenly be turned upside down. While you are recovering from your injuries, it is natural to wonder how you will pay for medical bills, cover your mortgage, and take care of debts while you are unable to work. Insurance companies know this – and they prey upon those fears to convince injured accident victims to accept a quick and easy settlement. Unfortunately, this settlement is far below what you may need to fully recover – especially if your injury has a long-term consequence or if you develop complications down the road.

One of those common accident injuries – a concussion – could actually triple your risk of suicide. This should all be considered before reaching any agreement with the insurance company.

Most people are reasonably familiar with the common symptoms and consequences of concussions. Even the National Football League has been forced to concede the correlation between repeated concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). However, a new study links concussions with an alarming health risk: suicide.  According to findings recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, one minor concussion could triple a patient’s future risk of suicide.

Adding to the startling findings reported by Scientific American, is the fact that many of those patients had suffered their concussions under relatively commonplace circumstances, such as a fall at home or in a car accident.

Led by Donald Redelmeier, researchers at the University of Toronto followed nearly 250,000 patients for twenty years- all of whom had suffered at least one concussion. Among the study group, there were over 660 suicides. In Canada, the average suicide rate in 2009 was approximately 11 deaths per 100,000 people. The 660 suicides among the sample population averaged out to 31 deaths per 100,000 members of that population, increasing the suicide rate almost threefold.

Furthermore, the researchers discovered that the members of the study population who suffered their concussions on weekends, perhaps while enjoying leisure activities, were affected more than those who received their concussions during the week. Unfortunately, the study did not disclose the specifics of each patient’s accident other than the day of the week.

The scientists ascertained that patients typically took their lives approximately 6 years following their initial accident. Any additional concussions exacerbated the suicide risk.

Although no specific correlation between concussions and suicide could be determined, Redelmeier posed several theories. In the Scientific American article, he surmises that the patients who committed suicide might have been mentally unstable prior to suffering the concussion, although a smaller portion of the study group without pre-existing mental conditions witnessed a similar increase in suicide rates.

Redelmeier also proposed that a patient never fully recovers from the inflammation caused by a concussion, or that patients resumed work and other daily activities too soon after their injury and experienced additional stress, frustration, and depression as a result.

While it is known that repeated concussions cause CTE, it also comes as no surprise to Dr. Lea Alhilali, a physician and researcher at the Brown Neurological Institute, that less severe or isolated injuries could still have long-lasting effects on the brain.

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Recognizing the Long-Term Symptoms of Concussion

Many accident victims aren’t even aware that they truly suffered a concussion, or they may believe that a concussion is not a serious injury. Yet, even one concussion can cause major and serious damage to the brain that can result in long-term problems. While the vast majority of concussion patients do fairly well, up to 20% develop chronic problems even after just one concussion. These problems include:

  • Mood disorders
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Balance disorders
  • Trouble paying attention
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Memory loss
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Slurred or irregular speech

Contact Our Experienced Arvada Personal Injury Lawyers

Thornton Personal Injury Lawyers at Hull & ZimmermanIf you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Westminster, Thornton, Arvada, or anywhere in Colorado, it is important to contact our experienced Arvada personal injury attorneys immediately. At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., our committed Arvada personal injury lawyers are dedicated to the belief that everyone deserves justice. Contact us at (303) 423-1770 or (866) 385-3505.

Our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience representing injured accident victims in Broomfield, Arvada, Superior, Lafayette, Louisville, Erie, Brighton, Commerce City, Northglenn, Westminster, Thornton, Longmont, and throughout Colorado.




At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., we are honored to help accident victims in their time of need, and take our responsibility as personal injury lawyers incredibly seriously. We know how important it is for victims to secure the full and fair compensation they need following a serious accident, and that is why we take a hands-on, personalized approach to every case we handle.

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