Study Reveals Slight Traumatic Brain Injury Can Cause Permanent Damage

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brain injuryEven the slightest traumatic brain injury could lead to permanent damage, according to new research published in the July 16 online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Traumatic brain injury occurs when an external force causes brain dysfunction, typically from a violent blow or jar to the head or body.

Researchers examined 44 people who had experienced a mild traumatic brain injury, nine people who had sustained moderate brain injury and 33 people without brain damage. Each participant was tested on their thinking and memory skills, while simultaneously undergoing diffusion tensor imaging scans ─ a highly sensitive form of an MRI scan used to uncover brain damage and find fiber tracts connecting different regions of the brain.

Patients with a brain injury underwent their scan approximately six days following their injury. A total of 23 patients with brain damage had another scan and took the cognitive tests again one year later. Results revealed that those with a brain injury had sustained brain damage in white brain matter causing disruption to nerve axons ─ the part of the brain that allows cells to transmit messages to one another ─ compared with those who had not experienced a brain injury.

Patients with brain damage demonstrate reduced thinking and memory skills

Researchers also noted that patients who had sustained a brain injury had scores 25 percent lower on the verbal letter fluency task, displaying thinking and memory skills.

“Most of the studies thus far have focused on people with severe and chronic traumatic brain injury,” said study author Andrew Blamire, PhD, of Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. “We studied patients who had suffered clinically mild injuries often from common accidents such as falling from a bicycle, or slow speed car accidents. This finding is especially important, as 90 percent of all traumatic brain injuries are mild to moderate.”

A full year after experiencing the brain injury, the scores on the thinking and memory tests were the same for those who had sustained a brain injury and those who had not. However, there was noticeable brain damage present in those with injuries.

“These results show that thinking skills were recovering over time,” Blamire said. “The areas of brain damage were not as widespread across the brain as previously, but focused in certain areas of the brain, which could indicate that the brain was compensating for the injuries.”

New Jersey traumatic brain injury lawyer

If you’ve been the victim of an accident or assault, you may have experienced irreversible brain damage, ensuring your life will never again be the same. Traumatic brain injury is an incredibly serious health problem, resulting in a high number of permanent disabilities and deaths each and every year. If you or a loved one has suffered brain injury caused by someone else, it’s important to fight for your rights.

Contact an NJ personal injury attorney at Eisbrouch Marsh to schedule a completely free and confidential consultation. Our firm has more than 25 years of experience fighting for the rights of victims just like you.

Call 201-561-8366 today to speak with a New Jersey traumatic brain injury lawyer.


  1. Science Daily, Even Mild Traumatic Brain Injury May Cause Brain Damage
  2. Mayo Clinic, Traumatic Brain Injury