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Researchers Find a Connection Between Brain Injuries and Homeless People
According to The Huffington Post, a new study revealed that almost half of homeless men have suffered from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the past, oftentimes before they became homeless. This study could lead to a better understanding of how current behavioral issues among the homeless could in fact be connected to an injury that happened long ago.
Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto (a team that also linked TBIs to higher rates of suicidal thoughts in teens) surveyed 111 homeless men and found that 45 percent of them had suffered at least one brain injury in their life, with 87 percent of those injuries occurring before they were homeless.
“[The data shows] that the majority of these men sustained at least one injury before they became homeless,” the lead researcher of the study stated. “And for the most part, on average, these injuries occurred in early teenage years.”
Forty-four percent of total TBIs were sustained during sports or recreation, while 42 percent were from car collisions or falls. For men under 40 years old, the leading cause of TBI was drug or alcohol blackout, while in those over 40 years old, assault was the most common cause of their brain injury.
Severe traumatic brain injuries, or when the brain moves against the skull or is injured by a penetrating object, can impair cognitive and motor function, causing some individuals to fall into comas or have amnesia.
It is important to tell your pediatrician if your child has experienced a TBI. Researchers in the study believe that doctors should be aware if their patients have had a TBI and screen them for potential mental and behavioral problems.
If You Think Your Child Sustained a Brain Injury, Take Action Today
If you are a parent of a teen who may have sustained a concussion or TBI, be sure to watch for sudden dramatic changes in behavior or personality.
Did You Know: Twelve percent of the general population has suffered a TBI.
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