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Mild Head Injury (i.e. Concussion) Increases the Risk of Dying in the Next 15 Years

By the very fact that a head injury (otherwise known as a mTBI, mild traumatic brain injury or concussion) is labeled as “mild”, there is good reason that health care professionals and the public should expect the injury have little long term impact on one’s health.

In fact, these “mild” injuries have now been shown to substantially increase the risk of death in the 15 years after the injury.

The age at the time of injury is important. Younger adults (15–54 years) with a “mild” head injury had a 4.2-fold greater risk of death over the next 15 years than those with a head injury. In adults aged over 54, the risk of death was 1.4 times higher.

The increased death rate was from a wide variety of conditions including cardiovascular disease (strokes, heart attacks, heart failure), respiratory illnesses, intestinal tract disorders, mental illness and external causes (accidents, assault).  Other studies have shown an increased risk of alcohol-related death in individuals with prior mild head injury.

Kaplan-Meier Curves:  Cumulative deaths with 95% confidence intervals.

Death was also more likely in younger males, those with prior illnesses and more social and financial deprivation.
As I have written about throughout AutonomicRecovery.com, it’s not the injury but the lack of ability to fully recover that is important.

Many individuals (I think the number is greater than half the population) are being effected by systemic metabolic inflammation from a variety of sources as well as neuroinflammation from primed microglia within the CNS.

The elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines that are the core feature of metabolic inflammation inhibit the normal repair process in the brain after injury, this leaves the brain operating inefficiently.

Injury after injury the damage accumulates in a process now known as cumulative brain injury (CBI) until the brain can no longer function adequately to regulate itself.

Many diseases such as high blood pressure, ADD, chronic fatigue, autoimmune disorders, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, CTE, chronic depression/PTSD and autism are all manifestations of cumulative damage from pro-inflammatory cytokines and unrepaired brain injury.

Fortunately, a broad-based regime directed at the suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokine production can re-activate natural repair mechanisms with the reversal of brain injury even decades old.

I monitor the recovery of autonomic nervous system through a process known as spectral analysis. Brain injury recovery can occur with the Nemechek Protocol (patent pending).

It’s never too late to regain start reversing damage from those prior brain injuries.

Copyright. Patrick M. Nemechek, 2017

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