Although the relationship is not completely understood, traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been determined as a risk factor for epilepsy. A new study involving mice, published in Cerebral Cortex, identified increased levels of a specific neurotransmitter as a contributing factor linking TBI with post-traumatic epilepsy.

The research team, piloted by David Cantu and Chris Dulla, examined the effect of TBI on levels of the neurotransmitter, gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), in the cerebral cortex, that portion of the brain associated with higher level functions including information processing.

Under normal functions, GABA inhibits neurotransmission in the brain, while glutamate stimulates neurotransmission. After a brain injury damages the cortex, the cells that create GABA, called interneurons, die. This causes a toxic buildup of glutamate, which over stimulates brain activity. This disrupted balance of GABA and glutamate has been identified as a factor in increased epileptic brain activity.

Interneurons play an integral role in preventing the onset of epileptic seizures, and researchers believe if these cells could be preserved, the negative consequences of TBIs could be decreased. This research provides great insight to the effects of severe single head injuries that often occur in contact sports and military service.

Effects of Epilepsy

According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2.3 million Americans are affected by epilepsy. As estimated by the Epilepsy Foundation, 15 to 34 percent of TBI patients suffer from post-traumatic epilepsy, and that rate rises to as much as 52 percent amongst TBI patients with active duty military roles.

Millions of Americans suffer TBIs every year, all too often, with dire consequences. Issues with basic skills such as talking, walking, and independent daily living are all possible results of TBIs. In addition to being linked with military service and contact sports, TBIs can be caused by falls that interfere with the brain development of children, and disrupt the delicate brain systems of the elderly.

This study is a significant step toward identifying the relationship between TBI and post-traumatic epilepsy, and although the specific neurological causes of how TBI kills interneurons are yet unknown, the study potentially outlines what happens after brain injury to trigger epilepsy. Comprehending how TBI disturbs normal brain function will allow researchers to develop new therapies to help post-traumatic epilepsy victims recover.


Helmet use has consistently been shown to reduce motorcycle crash-related deaths and injuries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed 2008-2010 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a census of fatal traffic crashes in the U.S. Economic data was also obtained from NHTSA to compare costs saved as a result of helmet use. The findings indicated that in states with universal helmet laws only 12% of fatally injured motorcyclists were not wearing a helmet, compared with 64% of riders in partial helmet law states, and 79% in states with no helmet law. In 2010, economic costs saved by society from helmet use in states with a universal helmet law averaged $725 per rider, nearly four times more savings than in states without such laws.

Despite the fact that researchers have cited helmet use as the single most effective countermeasure in reducing motorcyclist injuries and deaths, only 19 states currently have universal helmet laws, and no states have enacted helmet laws since 2004. In fact, new data from the Highway Loss Data Institute further indicates that motorcycle safety is going in the wrong direction.

Research has shown that when a state repeals its universal helmet law as Michigan did in 2012, motorcycle crash injuries increased substantially, as did the medical costs of injured motorcyclists. Six states have repealed their universal helmet laws since 1997.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) evaluated studies on motorcycle helmet laws, focusing on the effectiveness of helmets in preventing fatalities and serious injuries, the impact of helmet laws, and the societal costs of helmet nonuse. The studies they evaluated indicated that helmeted riders suffer fewer severe head injuries and lower fatality rates than non-helmeted riders. The evaluation also showed that helmet use ranged from 92-100 percent in states with universal helmet laws, compared with 42-59 percent use in states without. The data on cost of medical services rendered to motorcycle accident victims was somewhat unclear, but studies show that society pays for much of that care through tax-supported programs or insurance premiums. The long-term costs for victims of serious and critical head injuries could range from $100,000 to 300,000 per person.

If a negligent driver injures you or someone you love, an experienced Seattle motorcycle accident attorney at Phillips Law Firm can help.



A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be a blow, jolt or bump to the head, or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain; injuries that are commonly seen in car accidents. Such an injury, that takes an instant to sustain, can bring a lifetime of physical, cognitive, and behavioral challenges. Brain injuries do not discriminate. They can affect anyone at any time. In an effort to educate communities on the far-reaching impacts of brain injuries, March has been designated as National Brain Injury Awareness Month.

Facts About Brain Injuries

Every year, 2.4 million people in the United States, including 475,000 children, sustain a TBI. Falls, workplace accidents, assaults can cause TBIs, and car crashes among various other reasons. Seventy-five percent of TBIs reported every year are concussions or other mild forms of traumatic brain injury. However, many TBIs are life altering. Here are some startling statistics about TBIs:

  • 52,000 people will die as a result of a TBI
  • 53 million individuals live with life-long disabilities as a result of TBI
  • TBI is a contributing factor to one-third of all injury-related deaths in the U.S.

Although many, 1.365 million people will be treated in the emergency room and released with a mild TBI, 275,000 victims of TBI will be hospitalized. And just as no two people are exactly alike, the same is true of brain injuries.

For some victims, TBI is the beginning of lifelong disease management. The injury may require access to the complete gamete of medically necessary treatment and community-based programs provided by interdisciplinary teams of specialized clinicians working in accredited programs and various settings, all of which comes at a significant financial cost. Some of these costs include;

  • $8,000 per day is the average cost for hospital-based acute rehab
  • $850-2,500 per day is the cost range for post-acute residential care
  • $600-1,000 per day is the cost range for day treatment programs. This entails four hours of therapy and does not include room/board
  • $76.3 billion in direct medical costs and indirect costs, such as lost productivity annually

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

Every year people suffer debilitating TBI injuries from car accidents that result in enormous medical bills, lost wages, and forever alter the quality of their lives. If you or a loved one is suffering from the result of a TBI, contact an attorney today who can evaluate your case and determine the best course of action to help you recover the compensation that you deserve.


A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry followed hundreds of thousands of traumatic brain injury patients in Sweden over four decades. The results were surprising. Even once traumatic brain injury victims recover from their injuries, they are more likely to die from suicide or accidents at an earlier age. In particular, moderate to severe traumatic brain injury patients were three times more likely to die prematurely than people without such injuries.

This research lends credibility to the belief that trauma to the brain can be deadly in ways that are not immediately apparent. This could result in physicians and psychiatrists monitoring traumatic brain injury survivors for depression and other types of behaviors long after they have recovered.

The data from the study focused on brain injuries involving skull fractures, internal bleeding and loss of consciousness for more than an hour. Yet the data also suggested that there were similar associations when people sustain concussions.

In particular, the data showed that the brain injury group had 574 deaths from various accidents and 522 deaths from suicides. The fatal accident rate of this traumatic brain injury group was 4x that of the control group, while they were 3x more likely to commit suicide.

What about mild brain injuries? Researchers conducted a separate analysis of 333,118 people who had sustained concussions and found that they were 2x as likely to die prematurely.

This new research has the potential to shake up how we view traumatic brain injuries. Presently, most of the focus is on short-term survival and recovery. Now, it seems that even once they survive and recover, traumatic brain injury victims are still not out of the woods.

If you or someone you love has sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident, it is important to understand how your injury could affect your life—and your future. Since traumatic brain injury victims may be at an increased risk for psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, depression, and premature death, any compensation you receive should reflect these new findings.

Contact Seattle Personal Injury Attorneys

Traumatic brain injury victims are not alone–an experienced Seattle car accident attorney at Phillips Law Firm can help. If you are interested in learning more about your legal options, call us at 1-800-708-6000. Our Seattle personal injury lawsuit attorneys are waiting to assist you 24/7, offering a free case evaluation. Remember our no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.

The personal injury lawyers at Phillips Law Firm have successfully represented injured individuals and their families in Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Auburn, Renton, Federal Way, Bellingham, Marysville, Lakewood, Redmond, Shoreline, and throughout the State of Washington. 


Car Accident Brain Injury

One of the most horrific injuries a Seattle car accident victim can suffer is a traumatic brain injury. These injuries have the ability to significantly impact an individual’s quality of life in a way that few injuries can. If the brain injury is severe, Seattle families can suddenly find themselves struggling financially to care for injured loved ones.

The CDC estimates that in the United States, the total cost of acute care and rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury victims is $9 to $10 billion per year. While staggering, this number does not even take into account the billions of dollars families lose in the form of lost earnings and lost productivity for family members who must now devote their lives to caring for their loved one.  If you add up the direct and indirect costs, it is estimated that traumatic brain injuries cost $76.5 billion a year in the United States.

Roughly 1.7 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury every year. This can occur as a mild concussion or as a more severe closed head injury. Initial brain trauma after a car accident can cost families up to $162,000 and 2 weeks of rehabilitation another $60,000. Yet severe brain injury victims do not heal in a matter of weeks. Thus, families can expect that number to grow astronomically over time as additional hospitalizations, surgeries, and long-care facilities become necessary.

The Brain Injury Association of America estimates that over a lifetime, traumatic brain injury victims can cost up to $1.8 million. This includes occupational therapies, long-term care, refitting a home for handicap accessibility, and subsequent brain surgeries.

Sadly, traumatic brain injuries account for one-third of all injury related deaths in the United States ever year. The elderly and the very young are at an increased risk for sustaining such injuries, as are adolescent males who may take unnecessary risks.

Contact Seattle Personal Injury Attorneys

If someone you love has sustained a traumatic brain injury after an accident of any kind, an experienced Seattle personal injury attorney at Phillips Law Firm can help. If you are interested in learning more about your legal options, call us at 1-800-708-6000. Our Seattle personal injury lawsuit attorneys are waiting to assist you 24/7, offering a free case evaluation. Remember our no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.

The personal injury lawyers at Phillips Law Firm have successfully represented injured individuals and their families in Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Auburn, Renton, Federal Way, Bellingham, Marysville, Lakewood, Redmond, Shoreline, and throughout the State of Washington.