Northwest Indiana traumatic brain injury lawyer explains recent research that links brain injury to depression.
One of the main roles of a personal injury lawyer who helps people injured in accidents is trying to protect the client's future. In order to get money for future medical treatment or future pain and suffering, the injured person needs to bring forth evidence that the treatment and/or condition is going to happen in the future. The burden to proof is by a “preponderance of the evidence” or what is also called the “more likely than not standard”.
Many people who suffer traumatic brain injuries in accidents look normal, and insurance adjusters and juries have a tendency to hold this fact against the person. When somebody looks normal, it is easier to say they are faking or exaggerating. When it comes to the brain, it is difficult to isolate the area of injury and it is also difficult to forecast the future needs of patients.
A recent animal study sheds some light on how a brain injury can lead to depression years later. The researchers in this study concluded that A head injury can lead immune-system brain cells to go on “high alert” and overreact to later immune challenges by becoming excessively inflammatory – a condition linked with depressive complications.
One researcher said:
A lot of people with a history of head injury don't develop mental-health problems until they're in their 40s, 50s or 60s. That suggests there are other factors involved, and that's why we're looking at this two-hit idea – the brain injury being the first and then an immune challenge. It's as if one plus one plus one equals 15. There can be a multiplier effect.
This makes total sense. Most chronic diseases that impact folks are related to the body's inflammation and repair system, which is modulated by the immune system. Remember for years, doctors said that heart disease was related to cholesterol, however, in recent years the mechanism behind coronary artery disease and heart disease is inflammation.
In the future, I have no doubt that we are going to have proof that inflammation after a traumatic brain injury can have long lasting effects like depression.
Currently, I do not think there is a enough medical proof to support a claim for future depression for brain injury victims but we may be able to use this research to have our expert support their opinion that trauma to the brain causes inflammation and can cause a whole host of symptoms and conditions including headaches, short term memory loss, and mood changes.
If you have any questions about a brain injury following an accident, give our Northwest Indiana brain injury lawyer a call at (219) 874-4878