"One in Six Americans Over 40 Has Been Knocked Unconscious" - Dennis Thompson
Brain injury research typically focuses on football players and military veterans, but a new study suggests head injuries are far more widespread than estimated. About one in every six U.S. adults – roughly 23 million people aged 40 or older – have been knocked out by a head injury, researchers report. People who reported a head injury that knocked them out were 54 percent more likely to have a sleep disorder, 68 percent more likely to have had a stroke, twice as likely to be a heavy drinker, and more than twice as likely to have symptoms of depression. Kristen Dams-O’Connor, PhD, co-director of the Brain Injury Research Center at Mount Sinai, suspects the relationship runs both ways. Head injuries are prompted by these neurological and psychological problems, but the injuries also can either cause new problems or make existing problems worse. "We may be talking about people who are associated with previous risk factors, and you've now got a traumatic brain injury overlaid upon whatever they were suffering before," said Dr. Dams-O'Connor, who wasn't involved with the study. She believes the number of people who've suffered a brain injury is even higher than found here.
- Kristen Dams-O’Connor, PhD, Associate Professor, Rehabilitation Medicine, Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Co-Director, The Brain Injury Research Center of Mount Sinai