Specifically, the research links a mild traumatic brain injury to a higher risk of post-traumatic stress disorder and post-injury depression, compared to another type of non-head injury.

The study, published Wednesday in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry, found that among hospitalized patients, 21.2% of people with mild traumatic brain injury had PTSD or depression up to six months after the injury, compared to 12.1% of those with other lesions. than the head.
A traumatic brain injury can range from "mild" to "severe" and is usually caused by a lump, stroke or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts normal brain function, as the case may be. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new study included 1,155 patients with mild traumatic brain injury and 230 non-head injuries in 11 hospitals with trauma centers in the United States between 2014 and 2016.

Of the traumatic brain injuries, 61.8% were caused by a motor vehicle collision, 29.2% by a fall or other unintentional injury, 6.1% by violence or assault, and 3% by an unspecified cause.

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The health status of each patient was assessed shortly after their visit to the hospital two weeks later and three months, six months and 12 months after the injury. At these times, patients were assessed for post-traumatic stress disorder and symptoms of major depressive disorder.

The researchers found that patients with mild traumatic brain injury were more likely to report post-traumatic stress disorder or major depressive symptoms three and six months after the injury. At three months, for example, the prevalence of mild depressive disorder or PTSD was 20% in people with mild traumatic brain injury, compared to 8.7% in non-traumatized individuals in the head.

The researchers also found that having a mental health problem prior to traumatic brain injury was "an exceptionally high risk factor" for PTSD or major depressive disorder later.

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The study had certain limitations, including the fact that more research is needed before results can be generalized to other hospitals, communities or countries. In addition, researchers relied on self-reports regarding the history of patients' mental health issues.

The researchers also found an increased risk of PTSD and depression after mild traumatic brain injury in black patients. Further research is needed to analyze this disparity.

Overall, "our findings could have implications for the surveillance and treatment of mental disorders after TBI.The emergence and long-term evolution of PTSD after TBI are variable," the researchers wrote.

Their results show that PTSD and major depressive disorder, although common, occur only in a minority of patients after mild traumatic brain injury, "but especially in those who have already suffered from mental health problems."

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Defense. However, the researchers also included a long list of conflict of interest disclosures, including pharmaceutical companies and the NFL.
Dr. John Leddy, Primary Care Medicine Medicine Physician and Clinical Professor at University in Buffalo in New York, called the new study "well done", but he noted that the results can not be generalized to sport-related concussions.

"The mild traumatic brain injury is a category of sound damage that includes concussions, concussions being one of the lightest extremes of this spectrum, so sports concussions, for example, would be a sub-category. all of the mild traumatic brain injury, "said Leddy, who was not involved in the study, but is also medical director of the University of Buffalo's Buffalo Concussion Management Clinic.

"All patients in this study received a CT scan to assess brain hemorrhage or skull fracture and may have had a neurological deficit when they presented to the emergency room. to be classified as "light", much more serious than a sports-related concussion would usually be, "he said.

"Overall, I think it's a good study to help predict who is at risk for depression and PTSD after traumatic brain injury that occurred in a car accident or following an assault," she said. he said, "but the results can not be generalized to athletes who have suffered a concussion."