There have been recent studies showing that homeless people have higher rates of traumatic brain injury, but until a recent study there hasn’t been a detailed review of all this data according to Psych Central.
That study, lead by Topolovec-Vranic, found that the homeless are at a disproportionately higher risk for TBI, especially men. Strangely, the majority suffered the brain injury before becoming homeless, indicating that traumatic brain injury may be a risk factor for homelessness. It could also be possible that impulse control disorders predispose individuals to TBI and homelessness alike.
The theory that TBI is a risk factor for homelessness is supported by data associating TBI with low employment rates after the injury. The long recovery period can lead to job loss, as well as anxiety or depression which can have negative impacts on employment. All of this combined could cause a downward spiral towards homelessness.
The researchers in the Head Injury Clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital hoped to identify gaps in knowledge and suggest what areas need the most research after a full review of the existing data on homelessness and brain injury. Their findings were published in BMC Public Health.