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Research Reveals Effects of Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries

by on November 12, 2014

A recent study published by the American Academy of Neurology has revealed that even traumatic brain injuries considered to be on the milder end of the spectrum can result in lingering brain damage as well as problems with thinking and memory. The study represents one of the few in-depth examinations of the longer-term impact mild to moderate brain injuries in a field dominated by research focusing on patients suffering from severe brain trauma.

Study highlights enduring nature of damage

The research, highlighted in the online journal Neurology, followed 44 individuals who experienced a mild traumatic brain injury and nine others who experienced trauma designated as moderate. These patients were compared to 33 subjects who had suffered no brain injury whatsoever. Each participant underwent tests of memory and thinking ability as well as highly sensitive MRIs known as diffusion tension imaging scans. A full year later, 23 of the injured patients had second scans, and the same cognitive assessments were administered once more.

The research revealed that the individuals who had sustained brain injuries had distinct signs of disruption to their nerve axons, the components of nerve cells that facilitate the transmission of messages. Further, their scores on memory and cognitive skills testing were roughly 25 percent lower than those registered by those without brain injury. Though researchers did see some evidence of gradual skills improvement over time in those who sustained such injuries, they also identified specific areas of the brain which remained damaged. The fact that the areas of lingering damage were localized and not nearly as broad as in the initial aftermath of the accidents led researchers to suspect that the brain may in fact be attempting to compensate for the deficits resulting from the impact event itself.

Significance of research findings

According to Andrew Blamire of Newcastle University, the primary author of the study, this research is particularly significant because of its novel focus on those with milder injuries, such as might be suffered following a minor car crash or a bicycle accident. This stands in contrast to the majority of prior studies which mainly examined the effects of very serious injuries. The fact is that roughly 9 out of 10 brain injuries are either mild to moderate in nature, giving these findings real relevance to many.  As Arizona personal injury lawyers, we recognize the implications such findings could have for own clients whose injuries may have been undervalued by insurance carriers and opposing counsel.

Coping in the aftermath of brain injury

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have estimated that approximately 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries are sustained each year. Whether due to a car accident, assault, a slip and fall or perhaps a recreational mishap, these incidents can result in lasting disability, cognitive impairment, seizures, depression and behavioral changes that can prove to be life altering. The costs of medical treatment, rehabilitative therapy and ongoing care can be crippling not just for the brain injury patient, but also for their entire family. Fortunately, when such harm is caused by the negligent acts or omissions of another, the law provides victims the ability to pursue financial compensation.

How a Phoenix traumatic brain injury lawyer can help

At Wattel & York, we believe that every traumatic brain injury victim deserves the opportunity to seek full and fair compensation for the harm they have sustained. If you have suffered such an injury, please know that help is available. Our team is committed to investigating every aspect of your case in order to present the strongest medical evidence and legal arguments on your behalf.

Aligning yourself with a skilled Arizona personal injury attorney is the first step in seeking the financial recovery to which you are entitled. Contact the traumatic brain injury attorneys at Wattel & York to schedule a no-cost initial consultation by calling 1-877-225-5562.


  1. American Academy of Neurology, Even Mild Traumatic Brain Injury May Cause Brain Damage,research revelas effects of mild traumatic brain injures
  2. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Injury Prevention & Control: Traumatic Brain Injury,
  3. Mayo Clinic, Traumatic brain injury,

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