Are concussions linked to an increased suicide risk?
Even years after a person suffers a concussion, it’s important not to forget about the injury and to inform your doctor of your history.
“The risks of suffering a concussion are now receiving greater attention, particularly in light of growing concerns regarding chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE),” says Dr. Andrew Gordon, a neurologist at Advocate Good Shepherd in Barrington, Ill.
Dr. Gordon believes that concussions can have greater health concerns beyond head trauma.
“Individuals with CTE who have had numerous concussions and sub-concussive blows are at greater risk for suicide in addition to having a higher risk of dementia, Parkinson’s disease and psychiatric disturbances,” Dr. Gordon says.
This study gathered information from 230,000 people who had a past of concussions over a 20-year period. In the group there were almost 700 subsequent suicides, which equals to 31 deaths per every 100,000 person.
Researchers also found that people who had a concussion on a weekend had an even higher risk of suicide. The rate was about 39 per 100,000 people.
“Mild concussions, although invisible at the time of the incident, could be dangerous later on,” said Dr. Donald Redelmeier, professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and a lead researcher in the study, in a news release.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a concussion is a traumatic brain injury, caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.
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