Traumatic brain injuries can be devastating for those living in New York and beyond. After a person suffers a brain injury, they may be left with headaches, memory loss or problems with speech. Many people need long-term care to treat the brain injury, as well as any other side effects, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Scientists have long believed that there is a connection between traumatic brain injuries and PTSD. However, they now have physical proof.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles worked with two groups of rats. One group of rats was subjected to a traumatic brain injury, while the other group was not. They waited two days before testing the rats and found that the rats with a brain injury exhibited stronger feelings of fear than the rats without.

This evidence is proof that a traumatic brain injury alters the brain and raises the risk of developing PTSD.

Scientists say the amygdala is the part of the brain that is most affected. The amygdala regulates a person’s response to fear. However, after a brain injury, the amygdala is better able to learn fear making an individual’s response to a traumatic situation more pronounced.

Although the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought the topic of traumatic brain injuries and PTSD to the forefront, soldiers are not the only people who are susceptible to brain injuries. Anyone can suffer a traumatic brain injury whether they live in New York or elsewhere.

Traumatic brain injuries can have a huge impact on an individual’s life. If the injury was caused by another person’s negligence they may be able to collect compensation to pay medical bills, make up for lost wages and to help pay for the long-term care an individual might need.

Source: Wired, “Blasts to the Head ‘Primed’ Brains for PTSD, Study Says,” Katie Drummond, Feb. 22, 2012