Mental Health Issues in Women can Develop from Traumatic Brain Injuries
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Brain Injury Lawyer. In recent times, traumatic brain injuries have spent a significant time in the spotlight of the national media and the government. Issues such as CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) in the NFL have helped to draw attention to something that has been a major health issue in the lives of countless families. As more research has been completed, studies have shown a link between mental health issues, such as dementia, and traumatic brain injuries.
An Impact on the Stress Axis
A recent article published by the Endocrine Society detailed a study that could explain why women are prone to developing mental health issues along with other symptoms of traumatic brain injuries. Specifically, many women exposed to “blast injuries,” or a traumatic brain injury following a loud noise (such as an explosion), are diagnosed with various psychiatric conditions, such as PTSD. While men experience more traumatic brain injuries, women are more prone to developing complications from those brain injuries. The study published demonstrates that the reason why could rest in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, a signaling cascade in the human body that controls the body’s hormone levels.
The Study Exposed Mice to Blast Injuries
In the study, male and female mice were exposed to blast injuries using a blast simulator. After the exposure, the researchers measured the level of corticosterone, a hormone released in response to stress. The researchers measured this hormone level multiple times after exposing the mice to the blast. According to the study, female mice who were exposed to a blast injury had a higher level of stress axis dysregulation (quantified by corticosterone levels) than their male counterparts did. While this study was in mice, the results can be extrapolated to human patients as well. Women who develop certain types of traumatic brain injuries may be at an increased risk of stress axis dysregulation than their male counterparts. Stress axis alterations could lead to an increased rate of psychiatric comorbidities following brain injuries.
Implications for the Future
If doctors are better able to understand the risk factors for developing complications from traumatic brain injuries, such as psychiatric conditions, they may be able to better prepare diagnostic and treatment modalities for not only traumatic brain injuries but also their complications. If medical professionals are better aware of these risks in their patients, they may be able to intervene to stop these complications earlier. An earlier treatment intervention means being able to maximize the potential for a successful outcome. This study is the next step in a long line of research on traumatic brain injuries.
Sacramento Brain Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Brain Injury Lawyer. Mental health problems can have a significant impact on not only a patient’s quality of life but also that of their family. If you or a loved one has suffered from a head or brain injury, please reach out to me at (916) 921-6400 for friendly, free advice. I can also be reached free of charge at (800) 404-5400.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum of California. Our forum is made up of lawyers who have been rated with some of the country’s top trial attorneys. Our group’s lawyers have attained verdicts and settled cases valued at over $1 Million Dollars.
Please view my prior verdicts and settlements here.
Source: Science Daily, re-published from the Endocrine Society
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons with permission
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