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Does a Brain Injury Increase the Risk of Stroke?

Head-shaped chalk board with the word "Stroke" written on it

A brain injury often comes with fear and uncertainty. Many don’t realize that there are still risks after the initial recovery. That raises an important question: Does a brain injury increase the risk of stroke?

The evidence suggests that it very well could.

What is a Stroke?

Heart attack and stroke are often mentioned in the same group of potential side effects, but they are entirely separate. A stroke occurs when blood cannot reach parts of the brain. Without blood (and the oxygen it carries), brain cells starve and die. This may cause speech impairment and long-term weakness on one side of the body.

There are several kinds of strokes, each impacting a different part of the brain. Thankfully, strokes are treatable and often preventable. Unfortunately, there’s little prevention for an unexpected brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence.

Do Brain Injuries Increase the Risk of Stroke?

Studies have long linked brain injuries to increased risk of several neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and dementia. Recent evidence also suggests a link between brain injuries and a significantly increased risk of stroke.

One study found that (when controlled for age and other factors) those who suffered a brain injury are 30% more likely to suffer a stroke. Further research found that the increased risk reverts over time, but that someone with a traumatic brain injury was nearly 10 times more likely to suffer a stroke within three months of the incident.

Medical professionals have different theories about what might cause an increased risk. Some suggest damaged blood vessels from a brain injury increase the likelihood of a stroke. Patients with brain injury are more likely to have a stroke, even in the long term. However, the exact nature of the link between traumatic brain injuries and strokes is unclear.

If you or someone you love suffered a serious brain injury because of someone else’s actions, you might have a case. If you’d like an experienced Charleston brain injury attorney from the Berthold Firm to evaluate your case, don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (304) 605-2040.