Brain Injuries Raise Long-Term Risk of Stroke

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay reporter

WEDNESDAY April 21, 2021 (HealthDay News) – People who suffer from head trauma (TBI) are at significantly higher risk of stroke for years, according to British researchers.

Previous studies have linked brain damage to a long-term risk of neurological diseases, including dementia, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, and it has been suggested that this is also an independent risk factor. stroke.

This new review of 18 studies from four countries found that patients with these injuries have an 86% higher risk of stroke than people who haven’t had TBI.

While patients’ additional risk may be greatest in the first four months after their head injury, it remains significant for up to five years, according to the authors of the new review.

“TBI patients should be made aware of the increased risk of stroke risk and with stroke risk at its highest in the first four months after injury, this is a period of critical time to educate patients and their caregivers about the risk and symptoms of stroke, ”said lead author Grace Turner, Fellow of the Institute of Applied Research, University of Birmingham.


She and her colleagues have found that TBI is a risk factor for stroke regardless of the severity or type of injury.

They said it was important because 70% to 90% of those hits to the head are light. The finding suggests that TBI should be considered a chronic disease even when it is mild and patients are recovering well, they added.

The use of certain blood thinners, such as vitamin K antagonists (VKA) and statins, may help reduce the risk of stroke in TBI patients, while certain classes of antidepressants are associated with an increased risk of stroke. ‘Stroke after injury, results show. The study was recently published in the International Stroke Journal.

“Our review found evidence suggesting an association between reduced risk of stroke post-TBI and stroke prevention drugs VKA and statins, but, as previous studies have shown, stroke prevention drugs are often arrested when an individual has a TBI, “Turner said in an academic press release.

More research is needed to assess the effectiveness of stroke prevention drugs after brain injury to guide treatment.


Turner said clinicians should use the initial four-month period after TBI to take steps to reduce patients’ excessive risk of stroke.

More than 60 million people worldwide suffer from head trauma each year, while stroke is the second leading cause of death and the third leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the research team.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on TBI.

SOURCE: University of Birmingham, press release, April 19, 2021

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