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What are the long-term effects of brain injuries?

Brain injuries can occur as the result of many different types of accidents from a tackle in football, to a slip-and-fall, to a car collision. A brain injury can result anytime trauma occurs to the scalp, skull or head.

A brain injury can be mild, such as a minor concussion, or serious, such as a severe traumatic brain injury. The severity of the injury will depend on factors like where on the head the trauma occurred, the force involved and the type of trauma that occurred.

Mild brain injuries

Although our brains are extremely fragile, most mild brain injuries such as concussions typically resolve within a week to six weeks, according to the Weill Cornell Medicine Concussion and Brain Injury Clinic.  However, in some cases symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and irritability last much longer.

Moderate-to-severe brain injuries

Brain injuries that are moderate to severe can cause effects that last much longer -- sometimes years -- and these symptoms are more serious in nature.

People suffering from a moderate-to-severe brain injury often have major difficulties keeping focused and have poor short-term memory. They may also have trouble completing daily tasks, and overall, they may feel that their brain is functioning slower.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, brain injuries can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk of brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease later on in life.

There is hope, even for serious brain injuries

It is very important to seek treatment as soon as possible following a brain injury. Treatment can be expensive, but if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, such as a car accident that was not your fault, you might not have to pay for the treatment.

Even if months or years have passed since the accident, you should still have your symptoms evaluated and get treatment. Experts at the Weill Cornell Medicine Concussion and Brain Injury Clinic say it may be possible to relieve symptoms even years later. 

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