According to a study recently published in the Annals of Neurology, serious head injuries may lead to premature brain aging and might contribute to dementia and other serious maladies. By continuing this research and improving upon brain age prediction models, it may become more possible for North Carolina residents and their doctors to detect, prevent and treat a wide range of degenerative diseases.
For the purposes of the study, British researchers analyzed brain scans of 99 individuals who had suffered traumatic brain injuries after being assaulted, falling or being involved in a motor vehicle accident. The brain scans had been carried out between one month and 46 years after the incident took place. To investigate the effects of the brain injuries, researchers compared the brain scans of healthy people to the scans of the injured individuals. Researchers also created computer models designed to measure the levels of a brain's white and gray matter, and these models were then used to estimate the age of that brain.
One of the main findings of the study was that the changes in the brains of the injured individuals seemed to resemble the structures of older people's brains. Those who had suffered traumatic brain injuries had brains that, on average, seemed to be five years older than the brains of the healthy individuals.
Traumatic brain injuries can result in a wide array of complications, including permanent disability, long-term care and other lifestyle changes. If an accident victim sought out medical help for a brain injury and did not receive proper care or suffered such an injury as the result of doctor negligence, an attorney can help to determine if filing a medical malpractice claim is the appropriate course of action.