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Does Brain Injury Contribute to Domestic Violence?

Two of the country’s most controversial and concerning problems may be linked to one another, according to an article in Time. Researchers are asking whether traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) lead to violent behavior towards domestic partners. The article centers on Jovan Belcher, a professional football player who killed his girlfriend and himself in 2012. According to the report, approximately one year after his death, researchers exhumed his body to study his brain. It was reportedly determined that it was severely decomposed, which suggests that he suffered from some level of brain trauma during his life.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative brain malfunction that is often found in individuals who experience repetitive brain traumas, like athletes who suffer from regularly occurring concussions. According to experts, it develops from the buildup of an abnormal protein that causes the tissues of the brain to progressively degenerate. Though symptoms of the condition can appear during the lifetime of a patient, CTE is currently only diagnosable post-mortem. As reported in the article, Belcher’s brain showed collections of the abnormal protein in various sections.

Symptoms of CTE

Researchers have identified several symptoms of CTE that could possibly lead to the aggressive behavior displayed by Belcher, as well as other infamous athlete offenders. Some of these symptoms include:

***Lack of impulse control
***Increased aggression
***Impaired Judgment
***Depression
***Poor Communication
***Irritability
***Lack of insight

Dr. Sam Gandy is director of the Mount Sinai Center for Cognitive Health and NFL Neurological Center. He is quoted in the article as stating, “The frontal lobe of the brain often jostles around during head contact in football games… And the frontal lobe has an inhibiting effect that helps control behavior. Damage to the frontal lobe can compromise the inhibiting effect, and cause mood swings, even violence. You simply can’t exclude the possibility that frontal lobe damage is linked to damaging behavior.”

Australian researchers are also asking whether is a possible link between TBIs and domestic violence, according to a recent news report. The Brain Association of Tasmania is reportedly asking the state government for funds to establish an early intervention program. Organizers hope that their efforts will lessen the occurrences of domestic violence. Though they state that brain injury is likely not the magic diagnosis to all domestic violence, they believe that it is a factor that deserves more consideration.

The possible connection between brain injury and domestic violence joins a long list of potential conditions from a TBI. Individuals who suffer these injuries at the hands of another are likely to face lifelong complications that not only affect them, but their families and loved ones as well. With the assistance of an experienced and capable attorney, victims can ask the courts to award them the monetary compensation to which they are entitled.

If you or a family member is suffering with a traumatic brain injury due to the negligent actions of another, contact the brain injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti today at (877) 374-1417 for a free consultation.