Possible link between head injury and mental illness

Much like people all over the nation, residents of Orange County are well-aware of the many damaging aspects of significant brain injuries. What may be less well-known is the effect a head injury can have on one’s mental state. In fact, recent studies have shown a link between brain injuries and mental illness. Here at Callahan & Blaine, our Irvine brain injury lawyers have seen firsthand the struggles faced by victims of head injuries. That’s why we go above and beyond when lending legal support to such clients, who often have much to contend with throughout their recoveries.

According to Scientific American, a study conducted at the University of Copenhagen found that test subjects who experienced head injuries were more likely to develop a range of mental disorders during their lives. For instance, of the 113,906 people tested, 59 percent had an increased rate of depression, while 65 percent were at higher risk of developing schizophrenia. Those most at risk were subjects who sustained brain injuries from age 11 to 15, and the risk of developing a mental disorder was highest in the first year after the injury occurred.

While further research is needed to pinpoint the exact link between head injuries and mental illness, some posit that toxic chemicals in the blood can make their way through the blood-brain barrier due to the inflammation caused by head trauma. In some cases, even one brain injury can be enough to result in the development of a mental disorder.

Although there is no tried and true method for preventing mental illness after a brain injury, getting prompt treatment afterwards is thought to mitigate some of the ill-effects of head trauma. For more information on the legal aspects of brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence, please feel free to visit us online.