Experts based at the University of Michigan Health System have recently published important research on the link between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke risk. Their findings can be viewed in full in a late June online issue of the medical journal Neurology. The determinations made by these experts could ultimately impact the treatment of brain injury victims and the workers’ compensation amounts awarded to accident victims who have suffered brain injury.

At present, preventing stroke is largely a matter of controlling certain risk factors. The recent study indicates that suffering a TBI is likely a risk factor contributing to increased likelihood of developing a stroke later in life. As the study’s author explains, “Both stroke and traumatic brain injury are common, costly, and leading causes of severe disability in adults, and approximately 20 percent of strokes occur in adults under age 65. A large proportion of stroke risk is unexplained, especially in the young, so if we can identify new risk factors, we have the potential to prevent more strokes and improve outcomes.”

Obviously, understanding that TBI presents an increased stroke risk does not mean that more TBIs can inherently be prevented. However, this new understanding will likely impact the ways in which TBI victims are treated and cautioned to live their lives moving forward. They may be inspired to control other stroke risk factors in their lives in order to compensate for the TBI risk that they simply could not avoid.

In the battle against debilitating strokes and TBI, the medical community and patients alike benefit directly from new research and identified links between these conditions and related risk factors. This new research provides both communities with one more tool to aid in their fight.

Source: University of Michigan Health System, “Have a brain injury? You may be at higher risk for stroke, U-M study suggests,” June 28, 2013