Stroke risk increases after TBI

medical-operating-roomThe risk of ischemic stroke increased modestly but significantly following traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to a review of more than 400,000 cases.

TBI was associated with a 31% greater risk of stroke compared with trauma patients whose injuries did not affect the brain. A significantly increased risk persisted after adjustment for potentially confounding factors.

Although the absolute increase in risk was 0.2%, the higher prevalence of TBI in trauma patients translated into a bigger contribution to ischemic stroke than hypertension, the leading risk stroke risk factor, James F. Burke, MD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and co-authors reported in the July 2 issue of Neurology.

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Concussion – The brain in crisis

Concussion injury — which is a form of traumatic brain injury — is commonplace on playing fields. Recent estimates indicate head trauma due to contact sports occurs nearly 3.8 million times a year in the U.S.

Concern has grown over concussion brain injuries in professional athletes as well as in teens and children. Youngsters — whose brains are still developing — are competing at ever-earlier ages in concussion-prone contact sports. The concern spotlights the need for more awareness of concussion dangers and how to prevent them.

A concussion occurs when there’s a blow to the head or a sudden jolt that shakes the head and causes the brain’s gelatin-like cortex to rapidly collide into or bounce off the inside of your skull or to rotate within it. When it occurs, the brain’s function is altered. Loss of consciousness may or may not happen, which is one of the reasons some concussions go unrecognized. [Read more…]