Over the last decade or so, medical research has dramatically improved our understanding of and knowledge about traumatic brain injuries. And the evidence continues to show that concussions and other types of brain injury are far more serious than previously thought.
Protecting children from traumatic brain injuries has become a high priority in schools across the country, particularly in school sports programs. But brain injuries are still unacceptably common among adolescents. According to a recent survey of more than 9,000 middle school and high school students, one in five adolescents reported suffering a brain injury at some point that was severe enough to result in hospitalization or loss of consciousness for at least five minutes.
This same study also examined frequency of TBIs by gender and how symptoms manifest in both boys and girls. According to the results, female brain injury victims were more likely to have smoked cigarettes, been the target of bullying, experienced “psychological distress” and more likely to have contemplated suicide.
Because the study relied on self-reported symptoms, the results cannot provide a “definitive explanation for the gender differences.” However, this and other studies have shown that brain injuries can result in behavioral changes as well as changes in attention, memory and other critical brain functions. Because their brains are still developing, adolescents may be particularly susceptible to these effects.
Given what we know about the risks and long-term effects of brain injuries, the importance of prevention cannot be overstated. And if your child has suffered a brain injury as the result of someone else’s negligence, it is important to seek appropriate compensation to pay for costly medical bills and other related expenses.
Source: TIME, “How A Girl’s Brain Changes After a Traumatic Brain Injury,” Alexandra Sifferlin, Sept. 30, 2014