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Concussions and Brain Injuries Raise Suicide Risk

brain injury treatmentOver the past decade, awareness of the long-term risks of concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been growing among the U.S. public. (A concussion is one of the most common forms of a TBI.)

Recently, though, a study has indicated that experiencing a concussion or other TBI may raise the risk of a person’s attempting suicide. Not only is the risk heightened, but it climbs twofold compared to the suicide risk of a person who has not had a TBI —  a highly significant difference.

TBI and suicide risk

The study was published in a leading medical journal, JAMA Neurology, in mid-November.

Concussions were clear risk factors for attempting suicide, with a higher risk than other forms of TBI in the study. Although a specific concussion cannot be traced to suicidal ideation, the overall risk is clear. Multiple concussions may make the risk climb even further, although researchers are not clear on any specific extent.

The recent finding is very similar to that of a Denmark study published during the summer. It also found that patients with head injuries had a 100% increase in suicide risk.

Protect against Concussions and TBIs

The study sounds an alarm for concerned parents and individuals. Anything that would cause a concussion, such as high impact sports or reckless driving, must be eliminated as much as possible. Not only can concussions and TBIs cause physical injury, ranging from neck sprains to paralysis, but it is increasingly clear that they carry a certain degree of psychological risk.

People who have experienced TBIs in the past should be encouraged to seek counseling for any suicidal thoughts they may have. One crucial element in fighting suicide is to talk to people about suicidal ideation and to relieve stressors leading to that ideation as much as possible.

NYC traumatic brain injury lawyers

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are skilled traumatic brain injury lawyers in New York City and Nassau and Suffolk counties who have practiced for over five decades. If you or a loved one suffered a TBI and believe you may have a claim for damages, we encourage you to contact us for a free case evaluation. Call 1-800-469-7429 to explore your options for legal recourse.

Additional Resources:

  1. Fralick, Michael. “Association of Concussion With the Risk of Suicide: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” JAMA Neurol. November 12, 2018.
  2. Taylor, Christopher A., et al. “Traumatic Brain Injury–Related Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths — United States, 2007 and 2013.” MMWRSurveillance Summaries, March 17, 2017 / 66(9);1–16.

Head Trauma Patients Don’t Receive Adequate Treatment in Emergency Rooms

brain injury treatmentA new study indicates that many patients who visit the emergency room with head trauma or a mild concussion are not receiving sufficient follow-up treatment, whether that be examinations or recommendations for care.

Less Than Half Overall Receive Follow Up or Educational Materials

Only 44% of patients said they had seen a physician or other medical practitioners in the 3-month span following their injury. Among the group of patients who had had 3 or more moderate to severe symptoms of concussions, just 52% had seen a doctor or other medical practitioners within the 3-month period after their initial ER treatment.

Only 42% of patients said they were given any educational materials about their condition upon discharge from the ER.

More disturbingly, the gaps in follow up and education were seen even when patients had post-concussive symptoms or medical personnel found positive findings on a CT.

The study also found that patients were frequently not told of the severity of their injuries. Brain injury can result from even a minor bump on the head.

Follow up and education are particularly important as traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause a number of symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, depression, headache, and spikes in aggression.

TBI has also been found to heighten the risk of developing dementia.

The study, Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) study, was conducted on 800 patients between February 26, 2014 and August 25, 2016.

Serious Head Injury? Contact Edelman, Krasin & Jaye

TBIs can be caused by even very minor blows or bumps to the head. Patients need to know their condition, and to be given adequate follow-up and education to monitor and deal with the symptoms.

Have you or a loved one experienced head trauma, concussion, or TBI? Do you believe the medical care you received was insufficient? Are you still experiencing symptoms like dizziness, headaches, memory loss and cloudy thinking? If so, we can explain your rights and fight for justice. You may be able to claim just compensation for medical bills, ongoing symptom treatment, and more.

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are seasoned traumatic brain injury lawyers Long Island has trusted for over five decades. For a complimentary consultation, call us today at 1-800-469-7429. We can also come to you if traveling is an issue.

Additional Resources:

  1. Seabury, Seth A., et al. “Assessment of Follow-up Care After Emergency Department Presentation for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion.” JAMA Network Open, May 28, 2018.
  2. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion.

The Real Facts About Youth Football Concussions

youth football concussions“My son deserves to be heard, if only from his grave.” With those words, Kimberly Archie affirmed her commitment to raise public awareness about the life-altering risks of youth football. Her statement to the New York Post came after a Los Angeles Judge cleared the way for a lawsuit against the youth football organization, Pop Warner, filed on behalf of Archie and another California mom, Jo Cornell. Both of these plaintiffs lost their sons, who had played with Pop Warner, and had been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Trend toward litigation against football organizations

Archie and Cornell overcame the attempt by Pop Warner to have the lawsuit dismissed late in 2017, and now they are seeking class action status. But neither woman is claiming that their sons died on the football field, but rather that they both died as a result of the long-term effects of football-induced CTE. Archie’s son, Paul Bright, died at age 24 in a motorcycle accident. Archie alleges that his dangerous behavior on the motorcycle was caused by CTE. Cornell’s son, Tyler, also died in 2014. He was 25 when he committed suicide, which Cornell alleges was the result of the depression and mood swings known to be caused by CTE.

What exactly is CTE and how is it related to concussions?

It’s common knowledge now that concussions are dangerous, and multiple concussions are downright scary. It’s even becoming more commonly known that playing football is linked to concussions, which can lead to CTE—a degenerative brain disease—thanks to the tireless efforts of Dr. Bennet Omalu, who first identified the disease and has fought the NFL ever since.

The pathophysiology of CTE involves the accumulation of clumps of Tau proteins in the brain, which slowly spread throughout the brain and kill brain cells. The symptoms can be identified as early as adolescence, but usually appear in the late 20s or 30s. Some of the most common symptoms are emotional and behavioral in nature, including problems with impulse control, aggression, depression, and paranoia. Later, impaired judgment, confusion, memory loss, and progressive dementia occur.

Current scientific research concludes that CTE is most likely caused by repeated blows to the head, including multiple concussions and sub-concussive impacts. Sub-concussive impacts are brain injuries that do not cause concussions. These are particularly worrisome in youth football because, unlike a concussion, players with sub-concussive impacts aren’t necessarily identified and treated.

Are football helmets hurting more than they’re helping?

Football is a quintessential American sport, but many experts, including Dr. Omalu, are calling for an end to tackle football in youth sports. They argue that it just isn’t possible to make the sport safe enough, and that head injuries in young children are even more likely to lead to long-term problems because the brain is still developing.

Some experts think that, far from preventing concussions, football helmets are making them more prevalent. This is because the helmet gives players a false sense of security, and makes them less cautious about hits to the head. What’s worse, they don’t actually prevent concussions. This bears repeating, because it’s one of the most damaging and enduring myths about football safety. Brain injuries occur when the brain shifts within the skull, and strikes the interior wall of the skull.

There is nothing a football helmet can do to prevent this. As a result, 47 children died from 2013 to 2016 playing football.

What can parents do?

Each family must make their own decision about whether to let their kids play football. This decision should be made with careful consideration of current scientific research, and with close examination of the safety protocols of the individual youth organization.

For parents of kids who have already sustained serious injuries on the field, it may be time to raise your voice and raise awareness of the inherent risks of the sport. When you’re ready to explore options through the legal system, the Long Island brain injury lawyers at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are here to help you and your family. Call 1.800.469.7429 to request confidential assistance today.

Additional resources about football-related concussions

  1. The Atlantic, Football Alters the Brains of Kids as Young as 8,
  2. The Mercury News, ‘Concussion’ doctor: Youth football is child abuse,
  3. New York Post, Judge Oks Trial for Brain-Injury Suit Against Pop Warner,

Best Apps to Help with Recovery from Brain Injury


brain injury treatment

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can affect patients in many different ways. It can impair cognitive function or inhibit the ability to speak or move, at least temporarily. It can change personality and behavior.

Many apps can help patients in their recovery, as physicians and therapists work to overcome any challenges or impairment caused by brain injury. Here are 5 of the best brain injury recovery apps.

1. Alexa

Strictly speaking, Alexa isn’t an app but a device that responds to spoken commands. It can be very helpful for patients with mobility issues, however, performing everything from changing room temperature to turning on the lights.

2. Audible

Audible is an app that allows people to listen to books, newspapers, or magazines from their mobile device, a computer, or in the car. Since brain injury can cause people who are reading or inclining their heads to get headaches to have difficulty focusing, this can be a tremendous aid to reading and entertainment. It is also good for people who retain spoken information more than information they read.

3. Dragon Dictation

Dragon Dictation allows patients with brain injuries to speak text messages, e-mails, social media messages, and more, rather than typing them. It can be very helpful for those who may have physical impairment that makes typing or sitting at a computer difficult. Users can also talk into the app as a way of keeping notes and messages for themselves.

Perhaps best of all, Dragon Dictation has an advanced learning system that will adapt to the user’s speech patterns. If brain injury has resulted in impaired speech, the app will become more accurate the more it is used.

4. Answers: Yes/No

This app comes with two buttons, one marked Yes and one marked No. Users can press either one to communicate their preferences. This is especially helpful for patients who have difficulty speaking or being understood.

5. MakeChange

Some brain injuries cause people to lose computational skills used in everyday life, such as counting change. This iPad app prompts users to move change on the screen to perform tasks of addition. They also receive information on using the least amount of change.

If You or a Loved One Have a TBI

Traumatic brain injury victims face steep medical bills and lost time from work. They might be entitled to compensation to cover these costs and more, such as physical therapy, retraining and loss of consortium.

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are seasoned NYC & Long Island brain injury lawyers who have a proven track record of winning justice for our clients.

We offer an initial complimentary consultation to discuss your case and possible next steps. Call today to talk with an experienced New York City and Long Island accident lawyer today.

Additional “Brain Injury Apps” Resources:

  1. Brainline. Life-Changing Mobile Apps for People with Brain Injury,
  2. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion.

Two Miraculous Brain Injury Recovery Stories

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that close to 1.4 million people are brought to emergency rooms every year with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The numbers are so large that medical professionals term TBI “The Silent Epidemic.”

Sometimes, the injury that causes brain injury is immediate and clear. At others, the injured person has no idea they have suffered an injury until a symptom — or multiple symptoms — surface. They can suffer headaches, pain, and even paralysis.

But people can recover from brain injury. Here are two stories of people who did.

Dylan Williams – Phi Beta Kappa Against the Odds

Dylan Williams was a student at Tufts University when he was hit by a car while crossing an intersection. His head crashed through the driver’s windshield. Initially, Dylan was unconscious and could neither speak nor move. His doctor told his mother he was unlikely to be able to feed himself or conduct other activities of daily life. Doctors didn’t know whether he would ever regain full high-level cognitive function.

But Dylan ended up graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Tufts. One of the doctors told his mother that if she’d asked 100 doctors whether that was possible after the accident, 100% would have said no.

Why could Dylan recover such high-level functioning? His youth was a huge advantage. Researchers believe that the brain’s neuroplasticity is higher when people are young. Neuroplasticity allows the brain to develop new connections for those that have been damaged, and to compensate.

Doctors stress that more research is needed into the brain’s coping mechanisms and neuroplasticity to understand how to treat TBI patients.

Nicole Eastman – Fighting Isolation

In the case of Dr. Nicole Eastman, she looked uninjured after being in an accident in which her vehicle was hit several times by a large semi truck. There were no visible injuries. Doctors examined her in the emergency room. She had a headache and back pain, but looked fine and was released the same day.

But Dr. Eastman developed severe TBI symptoms after arriving home. Her pain was very excruciating. She had to quit in the middle of her medical residency to deal with the symptoms.

However, she found a new career counseling TBI patients and sharing her story through multiple outlets, including social media. She still becomes fatigued easily. Yet she found a method of coping via changing her career. TBI can be socially isolating, and Dr. Eastman is helping patients deal with the sense of isolation.

Speak with a TBI lawyer today

If you or a loved one has been injured and suffered a brain injury, it may be possible to receive compensation for medical treatment, therapy, lost wages, and more. Talk to the skilled attorneys at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye. We have had years of experience in successfully litigating accidents, medical malpractice, and other situations that can cause brain injury.

We can assist you in any situation. Our initial consultation is free; we will discuss your case and possible next steps. Call 1-800-469-7429 for a free consultation with an experienced New York City and Long Island traumatic brain injury lawyer today.

Additional “Amazing Brain Injury Recovery Stories” Resources:

  1. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion. TBI Survivor Stories.
  2. Williams, Rebecca Hubert. “After Traumatic Brain Injury, A Young Man’s Astounding Recovery.” Washington Post. September 15, 2014.