Heightened Risk of Stroke After a Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”)?
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 while 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 or 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.
For certain, 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 serious 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 easily 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.
They said people who suffered a traumatic brain injury have a 30% higher risk of having a stroke, over people who never suffered a brain injury. But they have experienced trauma.
This percentage was discovered after researchers considered other factors such as:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
According to Dr. James F. Burke, M.D. study researcher said that this study had 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
- 736,623 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. Those participating in the study were followed 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 risk of stroke for people with TBI’s was 1.1% higher for the person that 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 the risk of stroke dramatically increases within the first few months after a traumatic brain injury occurs. This study data was published in the: The Journal of the American Heart Association, which included:
- 213,199 TBI participants.
- 69,597 members who had not sustained a traumatic brain injury.
Our attorneys and staff hope you have a better grasp of brain injury and 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