TBI and Stroke: Risk Increases


Source: Libertas Academica

Source: Libertas Academica

Each year approximately 1.7 million people experience a TBI. These injuries include a wide range of consequences from brief changes in mental status to more enduring and severe injuries with long ranging consequences. In individuals who have moderate to severe brain injuries we are becoming more aware of the long-term health problems they may experience. As the population of people living with the effects of a brain injury grows, there is an increasing concern about the relationship between TBI and stroke. Does brain injury increase the likelihood of a person having a stroke?

Dr. James Burke of the University of Michigan recently published the results of a large study dealing with this topic involving over a million adults over a five year period. His study found that people with a TBI were 30% more likely to develop a stroke than those with trauma with no brain injury. So, how does TBI increase the risk of stroke? is the increased risk a factor of physiological changes to the brain? increased stress? the loosening of atherosclerotic plaques? the compound effects of health disparities over the course of time?

At this point there is no clarity as to the causative factors. But, Dr. Burke’s research points to an increased risk which begs the question: what can we do to improve the general health of people living with TBI. Click here to read a bulletin about the risks.

About Rolf Gainer Ph.D.

Dr. Rolf Gainer is the founder of the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma as well as the Neurological Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario, in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Gainer is a psychologist with more than twenty-five years of experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. Dr. Gainer has designed and operated innovative rehabilitation programs in the United States and Canada for individuals who have been regarded as difficult to serve. He is currently involved in conducting two outcome studies related to the long-term issues faced by individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. He has presented papers throughout the United States and Canada in many professional conferences and educational forums.

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