Oct 8, 2015 0 Comments in Uncategorized by

Danish scientists have studied the link between head traumas such as concussion and skull fracture and the subsequent risk of developing mental disorders. They found that head injuries can increase the risk of developing certain mental disorders by up to 439 percent.

By comparing the injured people’s risk of developing the disorders with the rest of the study population, they found that those with head injuries were:

65 percent more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia.
59 percent more likely to develop a depression.
28 percent more likely to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
439 percent more likely to suffer from organic mental disorders.

Head injury was associated with a higher risk of schizophrenia (incidence rate ratio [IRR]=1.65, 95% CI=1.55–1.75), depression (IRR=1.59 95% CI=1.53–1.65), bipolar disorder (IRR=1.28, 95% CI=1.10–1.48), and organic mental disorders (IRR=4.39, 95% CI=3.86–4.99). This effect was larger than that of fractures not involving the skull or spine for schizophrenia, depression, and organic mental disorders, which suggests that the results were not merely due to accident proneness. Head injury between ages 11 and 15 years was the strongest predictor for subsequent development of schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder. The added risk of mental illness following head injury did not differ between individuals with and without a psychiatric family history. Conclusions: This is the largest study to date investigating head injury and subsequent mental illness. The authors demonstrated an increase in risk for all psychiatric outcomes after head injury. The effect did not seem to be solely due to accident proneness, and the added risk was not more pronounced in persons with a psychiatric family history.
(Am J Psychiatry 2014; 171:463–469)

A study author believes there are several possible explanations, including inflammation and neurotransmitter dysfunctions following the brain injury. http://sciencenordic.com/head-injury-can-cause-mental-illness

Inflammation is the process by which the body identifies, isolates and removes dead tissue or toxic materials. Unfortunately, inflammation can also affect surrounding tissue.

A similar type of injury can occur with neurotoxicity, resulting in inflammation and neurotransmitter dysfunction. This study provides possible explanations for the finding that neurotoxicity often results in mental illness.

As I have concluded for a number of years, most types of psychiatric illness can result from neurotoxicity. The type resulting depends upon the person’s pre-existing conditions, constitution, and other factors.

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