Out of all of the issues that can haunt a traumatic brain injury patient, behavior control seems to be a common and extraordinarily tragic part of the puzzle. From depression, addiction, anxiety, and homelessness, it seems clear that traumatic brain injury has many ways to tear apart someone’s life.
The questions about traumatic brain injury’s connection to behavioral control deficiencies are especially poignant considering there are numerous criminal cases pending right now where the person accused of committing the crime is also dealing with brain damage. There are also deeply troubling questions about the high rates of brain injury in prison and corresponding recidivism rates.
The University of Canterbury is trying to investigate whether TBI is a serious contribution or cause of violent behavior in some, and given the other behavior control issues, it seems very possible.
“The major objective is to investigate the number of young people who, following a TBI in childhood, later suffer mental disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder, mood disorders, substance abuse or anxiety,” said Dr. Audrey McKinlay, a UC adjunct.
The results have yet to be announced, but it is important that this research between psychiatric symptoms and TBI be done to assess criminality and behavioral rehabilitation options following a brain injury. When the study is complete, the findings will be assessed by the International Brain Injury Association, the Australian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment, and the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologist conference.