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    Mental Health Disorders Common Following Mild Head Injury



    Summary: Researchers report 1 in 5 people are at risk of experiencing mental health conditions, such as PTSD or major depressive disorder, within 6 months of suffering mTBI.

    Source: JAMA Psychiatry.

    A recent study reports that approximately 1 in 5 individuals may experience mental health symptoms up to six months after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), which acknowledges the importance of follow-up check up for these patients. Through examining the Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) scientists have identified factors that may increase the risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or major depressive disorder following mTBI or concussion.

    In the study, the researchers examined the mental health reports of 1,155 people who had experienced a mild TBI and had been treated in the emergency department. At three, six, and 12 months after injury, the subjects completed different questionnaires which were related to PTSD and major depressive disorder. For a comparison group, the researchers also looked over individuals who had experienced orthopedic traumatic injuries, such as injury to different parts of the body, but did not have head injury.

    The findings revealed that at three and six months after the injury, people who had experienced mTBI were more in number than orthopedic trauma patients to report symptoms related to PTSD and/or major depressive disorder. As per the data it is known that three months after injury, 20 percent of mTBI patients had reported mental health symptoms compared to 8.7 percent of orthopedic trauma patients. Six months after the injury, 21.2 percent of mTBI patients had reported mental health symptoms compared to 12.1 percent of orthopedic trauma patients.

    The research team also utilised the data to know other risk factors for PTSD and major depressive disorder after mTBI. The results revealed that lower levels of education, self-identifying as African-American, and having a past record of mental illness increases the risk. In addition, if the head injury was caused by an assault or other violent attack, that increases the risk of developing PTSD, but not major depressive disorder.

    Published: JAMA Psychiatry.

    Contact: Murray B. Stein, University of California San Diego.

    Details: Image source Istock


    Hi, I’m Aarti, My Psychoanalytical approach towards my clients is to empower them to better their lives through improving their relationship with themselves. I believe shame and guilt is a common barrier to change. I aim to guide my clients through re authoring their narratives where shame, guilt, and other problems have less power and take up less space.

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