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Study finds links between brain injury, depression in kids


Of all the injuries Tennessee residents suffer in traffic accidents, brain injuries are some of the most mysterious. People with a brain injury may appear fine on the outside, but suffer cognitive problems that can interfere with their personal and professional life. These problems are often permanent, as brain injuries are notoriously difficult to treat. The symptoms can also be difficult to understand. They can include extreme conditions such as amnesia or subtle problems such as dizziness.

Recently, researchers studied another possible symptom of brain injury -- depression. In the study, presented recently to the American Academy of Pediatrics, researchers found that children who had suffered concussions or brain injuries were much more likely than the general population to be diagnosed with depression. According to the study, about 15 percent of the injured children were later diagnosed with depression. The national average is only four percent.

The study does not prove that the head injuries caused the children's depression. However, other studies have found connections between depression in adults and brain injury, especially when the brain injury is relatively severe.

Brain injuries are fairly common in car accidents after people strike their head inside the vehicle. Even after relatively minor injuries, symptoms may include confusion and memory problems, sluggishness, nausea and numbness or weakness on one side of the body. These symptoms may appear immediately after the accident or develop soon afterward.

The injured may be compensated through a personal injury lawsuit if their injuries were caused by another person's negligence.

Source: WebMD, "Kids With Head Injuries May Be Prone to Depression," Amy Norton, Oct. 25, 2013

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