Study Suggests Another Link between Harmful Health Behaviours and TBI

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Regular readers of the Gluckstein Lawyers blog may recall an interesting study we discussed back in October. Researchers found that there may be a link between brain trauma and harmful health behaviour among teenagers -- particularly girls.

Now the study's lead author, Dr. Gabriella Ilie, has published similar findings with regard to adults.

Recently published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, the adult-focused study suggests that adults who have suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be more likely to engage in harmful health behaviours such as cigarette smoking and use of non-prescribed opioid pain relievers. Compared with their peers who had not suffered TBI, adult respondents with a history of brain injury were also found to be almost twice as likely to report recent psychiatric distress.

The study was in part based on responses from 1,999 Ontario adults, all of whom participated in a continuous telephone survey conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Hospital data was also analyzed. This combination of data suggests that TBI is more prevalent than previously believed.

However, Dr. Ilie was careful to point out that the findings are not conclusive. While adults with TBI may turn to smoking and drug use as ways of trying to cope with the effects of brain trauma, it may also be the case that those who smoke and use drugs engage more frequently in behaviour that risks brain injury.

What is clear is that much more remains to be discovered about the short- and long-term effects of TBI, which affects each individual differently. To learn more about caring for the needs of TBI patients, please visit our serious injury overview.



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