Heightened Risk of Stroke After a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?


Erased memories
Head impacts and a loss of brain function and losing memories as a medical health care symbol of neurology and mental problems with a pencil eraser removing the head anatomy on a grunge old parchment paper.

By brain injury attorney Michael Ehline – This is an issue that hits home for me. As a participant and practitioner of martial arts, such as kickboxing and regular boxing, I have been knocked out before sparring. Some of my friends are really into the striking arts and have been floored a lot.

Of course, any jarring or striking to the human head runs with a risk of suffering a traumatic brain type injury (“TBI”), defined here. One of my good friends has been into boxing for quite a while. He recently suffered a stroke. He is a young guy too. First, let’s learn what a stroke is:

“A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. Brain cells begin to die in minutes. A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is crucial. Early action can reduce brain damage and other complications.” (Source – Mayo Clinic).


Is There a Causal Connection Between Boxing and Strokes?

Yes. If TBI’s mean strokes, then you can’t rule out the sport of boxing. I don’t know if there was a causal connection between boxing, my friend’s stroke, or not. But it made me think enough to write this piece.

Certainly, blows to the head, and jolts to the neck that drive the cranium backward, forwards, and left to right, can cause many ailments, some permanent. Studies affirm that boxing can cause severe brain injuries, even if a participant does not get knocked out.


Car Accidents and Brain Injuries Leading to Stroke?

Why not? One thing leads to another. Motor vehicle collisions often involve tremendous G-Forces. These forces can quickly meet or exceed anything suffered in a boxing match. In any event, this story segues into my personal brain injury practice. And this story highlights why it is so important to take the ambulance to the hospital after a car wreck.

  • A concussion could be a sign of something much worse?

According to a new study, there is an increased risk of a stroke after a traumatic brain injury. In a University of Michigan study, researchers have found stunning evidence.

They said people who suffered a traumatic brain injury have a 30% higher risk of having a stroke than people who never suffered a brain injury. But they have experienced trauma.

This percentage was discovered after researchers considered other factors such as:

  • Age
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease

According to Dr. James F. Burke, M.D. study researcher, this study established a strong link between TBI’s and strokes to make it a new risk factor. This link between TBI’s and strokes, according to researchers, is as strong as the risk factor for high blood pressure and strokes.

Dr. Burke said that this could create a reason for new research. He thinks we need to determine why TBI patients are more susceptible to strokes. And this could lead to ways to help prevent them.

What Were Some Factors Used in the TBI Stroke Study?

  • There were 435,630 participants in the neurological study. 42.9 years old was the average age of those who had suffered traumatic brain injuries
  • Seven hundred thirty-six thousand six hundred twenty-three other people experienced trauma but did not suffer a brain injury. The average age of the people there was 50.3 years of age.

What defined trauma without a brain injury was a fracture, but not involving the head or neck. Researchers monitored those participating in the study for 28 months after the accident took place and diagnoses. During this time, approximately one percent or 11,229 people suffered an ischemic stroke.

According to the data from that study, while the total risk of stroke is low in both groups, researchers did find the participants who suffered a TBI were at a higher risk of suffering a stroke over those who had not sustained head injuries.

  • The percentage for stroke risk for people with TBI’s was 1.1% higher for those who suffered a traumatic brain injury. And the rate of people who did not suffer a TBI but had a traumatic injury was 0.9%.

Taipei Medical University in Taiwan researchers said they believe that stroke risk dramatically increases within the first few months after a traumatic brain injury occurs. Researchers published the study data in the: The Journal of the American Heart Association, which included:

  • 213,199 TBI participants
  • Sixty-nine thousand five hundred ninety-seven members with no traumatic brain injury

Our attorneys and staff hope you have a better grasp of brain injury and its relationship to stroke. Whether you suffered a blow to the head while boxing, or head trauma after a car wreck, get medical attention right away, and if necessary, get legal help if you are disabled. Join us for more as the issues coagulate and shift.

More related citations:

Gender and Stroke: https://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/29/1/159.short

Post-stroke brain injury: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2736291/

Ischemic Brain Injury: https://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/25/7/1469.short

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