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On behalf of Mike Breen Sept. 15, 2017

When a car crash occurs, one of the worst injuries you can be left with is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). That’s because it may never be possible to fully recover from it. In fact, a recent study, published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, suggests that there is a correlation between a child or adolescent suffering a brain injury and developing a substance abuse problem later in life.

In order to reach this conclusion, researchers with Ohio State University took several mice that had suffered brain injuries as juveniles and followed their progress up through adulthood. As they were introduced to alcohol as they became adults, they appeared to drink more excessively than their non-injured counterparts.

Researchers also reviewed literature surrounding TBIs and the future impact they have on those hurt at less than 5 years of age. In those cases, they were at least 3.6 times more likely to develop a dependency on alcohol later in life than those who didn’t.

They were also able to determine that these victims had a propensity to act impulsively. It’s believed that, unless taught otherwise, victims seem to gravitate toward alcohol as a way to avoid dealing with the lasting effects of their injury.

Aside from the psychological, though, it’s also been shown that TBIs cause a physiological response in the body as well. Both TBIs and alcohol cause brain inflammation. It’s the combination of the injury and alcohol consumption that have been shown to result in a dependency on the drug.

Researchers also determined that any TBI a child suffered at a critical developmental stage had the potential to adversely impact the dopaminergic system. Damage to this neurochemical pathway at a young age appears to result in a greater risk of substance abuse later in life.

Previous studies conducted showed that TBIs impacted a victim’s ability to land full-time employment, become involved in stable relationships and to sustain an interest in extracurricular activities.

If you’ve suffered a TBI in a motor vehicle collision or some other type of catastrophic event, then you may benefit from discussing your case with a Bowling Green, Kentucky, car crash attorney. In doing so, he or she may be able to advise you of your right to reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages and other costs related to your care.

Source: Science Daily, “Brain injury in kids might lead to alcohol abuse,” accessed Sep. 07, 2017