Traumatic brain injury

Traumatic brain injury linked to higher risk of suicide, study finds

August 27, 2018 - 3:00 am
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KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- There is disturbing news in the Journal of the American Medical Association. 

According to a new study, traumatic brain injury has been linked to a higher risk of suicide. The risk of suicide is greatest in the first six months after the brain injury. 

According to the research, which is based in Denmark, of nearly 35,000 deaths by suicide over a 35-year period, more than 10% had seen a physician for either a mild traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion or a severe traumatic brain injury. 

Severe traumatic brain injuries are those which are head injuries with evidence of structural brain injury. If you compare that group to the general population, the risk in the general population is less than 2%. 

The researchers found the suicide risk was more than three fold elevated the first six months after a concussion and lasted as much as two years after the injury. 

It seems the more we learn about concussions, the greater the concerns.