Some traumatic brain injuries are impossible to miss. When the injury results in severe impairment (often from car accidents and falls), the victim is almost always rushed to appropriate medical providers who begin treating the problem. However, more mild brain accidents are not nearly as easy to detect. These subtle injuries can ultimately blossom to have serious long-term effects, but they are not readily visible. Children are often the victims of these injuries, obtained in any number of activities from sports to simple rough and tumble activities in the house. Our Illinois traumatic brain injury lawyers believe that it is important for families, guardians, medical providers, teachers, and others to appropriately identify these injuries when they occur so that proper treatment can be had.
A research study of child brain injuries that was published in the latest edition of Pediatrics and summarized in Med Page Today, found that chronic headaches are a crucial symptom of traumatic brain injuries in young people. Interestingly, the headaches were most common among young female victims and teenagers. The University of Washington researchers who conducted the effort explained that 59% of girls with brain injuries experienced the headaches. For teenagers (aged 13 to 17) there was also a sizeable effect, with 46% experiencing chronic headaches.
This research confirms that children experience the same headache problems that have already been found to exist among adults. This latest Child Health After Injury study examined over 650 injured children and their headache reports. Some of the participants had suffered head trauma while others (the control group) had suffered arm injuries. In total, researchers found that headache prevalence was significantly higher three month after head injuries than arm injuries. Researchers were particularly interested in the fact that the headaches seem to affects girls and teens more than other groups. This suggests that there may be some link with migraines. Migraines are much more common among post-pubescent girls (but not boys).
Also, the difference in effect between age groups suggests that underdeveloped brains are affected differently by this trauma. For example, the headaches persisted longest for older children when the injury was milder. The opposite was true for children under the age of twelve. For this youngest group, the headaches were most severe and lasted longest when the injury was more severe. This finding is a bit counterintuitive and will likely require further research to parse out more specifically.
Of course, the overall findings are not necessarily surprising, as head injuries would intuitively be expected to cause more headaches. However, our Chicago brain injury attorneys know that this type of information factors into potential legal damages when the injury was caused, at least in part, by the wrongdoing of another. The long-term consequences for even these mild injuries should not be underestimated. Even those who experienced minimal head trauma may have their lives made qualitatively worse by the injury. In fact, these headaches were found to be more common after mild injury than severe head injury. This difference suggests that the pathologies of the different grades of brain injury may be different.
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