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Denver TBI sufferers may risk personality changes

Data released in October may indicate that traumatic brain injuries lead to more effects than the ones with which they're most commonly associated. Reports say that although many people are aware of the occurrence of symptoms such as vertigo, memory recall problems, headaches and dizziness, TBI sufferers and their loved ones are often caught off guard by the onset of personality changes.

In one case, a Virginia man who was formerly enrolled as a triple-major student at Virginia Tech lost much of his drive after a serious head-on car accident that resulted in brain injury. This individual noted that he no longer felt like he could contribute to conversations and that he had lost a significant part of his previous personal identity. Other cited instances included that of a college professor whose wife noted that he acted significantly different following a mid-flight heart attack. Like the Virginia man, he experienced trouble controlling intense emotions like anger.

According to data from the Department of Defense, TBIs have significant effects on U.S. troops. No fewer than 260,000 of these injuries were diagnosed all over the world from the beginning of Afghanistan war and during the Iraq war. Doctors say that many people with frontal lobe injuries lose the ability to filter their actions to the same degree as they once could, making it harder for them to control their emotions without therapy.

Brain injuries may have effects that stick with people for years, making it extremely difficult for sufferers to maintain their lifestyles. Medical expenses may be hard for these individuals to carry if they lose the ability to work, and this can place serious burdens on the families of victims. Malpractice attorneys may be able to help these individuals by investigating previously misdiagnosed TBIs or pursuing settlements to offset the costs of treatment.

Source: NBC News, "'A different person': Personality change often brain injury's hidden toll", Bill Briggs, September 28, 2013

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