Some traumatic brain injuries require lifelong treatment, new data suggests

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 10:14 AM CDT
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(CNN) - It has long been thought that people who suffer traumatic brain injuries are out of the woods after being treated, but a new study of more than 25 years of data is challenging that.

”It was considered more like breaking a leg where you have a period of recovery but once you reach a certain point then things are stable,” said John Corrigan, director of Ohio Valley Center for Brain Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation.

Researchers at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that some traumatic brain injuries become chronic conditions requiring lifelong treatment.

”We actually see people changing long after their original injury and, actually, the thing you’re least likely to do is stay the same,” Corrigan said.

The researchers say some continue to have problems with thinking, problem-solving or regulating behavior and are often unsupported after initial treatment, which can make those issues worse.

Those involved in the study are working to come up with new ways to help places like healthcare facilities, treatment centers, shelters and even prisons better screen those with traumatic brain injuries and give the care that is needed.

Researchers say it is critical for those caring for traumatic brain injury patients to understand how the injury affects things the patient does and make accommodations based on the patient’s needs.