Blunt force trauma is a scary reality that many humans have to face every single day. Throughout history there have been several cases where small amounts of force caused irreparable damage. The problem with brain injuries is that they are so prevalent, and can often go untreated; in fact, brain injuries are one of the leading causes of long term disability in the United States.
Any time a person has damage to the brain, however small, that force to the head can cause harm that may in turn be irreversible. Children are especially vulnerable in this regard. As the brains on children are still developing, it is important that any type of fall or force to the head that causes confusion or loss of consciousness be taken very seriously. Though the damage may not be apparent superficially, the long term consequences to memory and learning can be severe.
The Link Between Alzheimer’s and Brain Trauma
People are suffering brain injuries every single day. While many people suffer from brain injuries, the big risks for brain injury are in contact sports. One recent study concluded that former National Football League players are three times more likely to die from Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. The suicide of former NFL player Junior Seau in May of 2012, while devastating, helped in bringing attention the issue of traumatic brain injury in athletes. It has been speculated that Seau suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease known to be triggered by repeated hits to the head or concussions.
Sports where the head is vulnerable have the greatest risk for potential brain damage down the line. Even small amounts of damage to the head can lead to Alzheimer’s later in life.
A Silent Epidemic
The problem with brain damage is that so much of it goes on behind the scenes. Even though a person may suffer from a blow that seems minor, because of how the brain is situated inside the head, there is a lot of potential for significant long term damage. This is ameliorated by not detecting damage when it occurs. Any time there is a loss of consciousness, for instance, no matter how small the amount of force used, there is a problem.
Mild Amounts of Trauma from Explosions Linked To PTSD and Memory Loss
Mild amounts of force to the brain linked to memory loss, PTSD, and brain damage. This is perhaps experienced most often by both active duty soldiers and war veterans.
The battlefield is a dangerous place. Iraq especially was dangerous because of things like improvised explosive devices. These devices would vary in the size of the explosion from mild to extremely damaging. What is important to understand is that even mild force from a distance can cause damage.
Ultimately, taking damage to the head is never a good thing. Whether the damage is great or small, the consequences can be severe regardless. Usually, the damage from small amounts of force happens much later in life, when people start developing dementia and Alzheimer’s. The key is to be as safe as possible, and to safeguard against risks that would adversely damage the brain.
Ian Warner, a freelance writer based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, frequently contributes articles on Personal Injury, Consumer Rights, Constitutional Law, Banking Law and other important legal issues.