Friday, 31 May 2013

Repeated Brain Injuries Increases Risk of Suicide

Suicide rates across the United States have increased significantly.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more Americans now commit suicide than die in motor vehicle accidents.  A new study finds that repeated brain injuries are linked to an increased risk of suicide.
Scientists at the National Center conducted the study for American Studies at the University of Utah.  The analysis has found that veterans who suffered repeated brain injuries are much more likely to commit suicide.  What California brain injury lawyers find even more disturbing is that the risk of such suicidal thoughts spikes not only during the short term after the brain injury, but also remains high throughout the veteran’s life.
According to the researchers, this is the very first time that studies have been able to confirm that multiple brain injuries have a link to a spike in suicide rates.  Earlier, studies suggested that there was a link, but this study seems to confirm the link.
The researchers studied 151 patients who had suffered a brain injury during a six-month period in 2009.  All of the soldiers sustained brain injuries during combat duty in Iraq.  One in five soldiers suffered more than one brain injury, and among these, more than 21% reported suicidal thoughts or preoccupation with suicide. 
In those soldiers who had suffered just one brain injury, 6.9% reported similar suicidal thoughts.  When the veterans had no brain injuries, there were absolutely no reports of suicidal thoughts and fantasies.
These findings should be interesting not just to the US Department of Defense which is struggling to control the skyrocketing rates of suicide among veterans returning from combat, but also to the National Football League which is also battling the health effects from repeated concussions, or hits to the head.

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