A study was included in a recent issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry titled “A Risk for Addiction-Related Disorders Following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in a Large Cohort of Active-Duty U.S. Airmen.” The study asserted that “military personnel are at increased risk for traumatic brain injury (TBI) from combat and non-combat exposures.” The authors attempted to asses possible associations between addiction-related disorders and mild TBI in active-duty United States military personnel.
A historical perspective study was conducted by the authors using medical and military data and electronically recorded demographic for over 500,000 active-duty United States Air Force service members. The findings of the study indicated that those studied with mild TBI had an increased risk for certain addiction-related disorders when compared with a similarly injured non-mild TBI group. These disorders included hazards for nicotine dependence, alcohol dependence, and non-dependent abuse of alcohol or other drugs. Risk for these disorders were elevated significantly in the mild TBI group with a steady decrease over time.
According to the authors, airmen with mild TBI were at an increased risk of these disorders for the first thirty days following the injury and alcohol dependence was significant in all three of the independent time periods studied. In addition, though previous research indicated that the risks associated with mild TBI resolved quickly, this study’s findings suggested that alcohol dependence following mild TBI could be a long-lasting condition.
It is critical that patients and their loved ones are made aware of the possibility of addiction-related disorders that could follow mild traumatic brain injuries. Furthermore, a consensus statement by the National Institute of Health stated that the results of TBI include a profound disruption of family life, a major change in the life course of the individual, loss of earning potential, loss of income, and large lifetime expenses. Social consequences include divorce, increase risk of suicide, and chronic unemployment. If social consequences, personal injury, or death resulted because of a brain injury or a disorder associated with brain injuries, the patient or their loved ones may have a valid personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Keywords: Brain injuries, personal injury, Wrongful death
Tags: Brain injuries, personal injury, Wrongful death