(March 22, 2013 - Insidermedicine)
A significant amount of homeless people have suffered traumatic brain injuries, according to a report published in BMC Public Health.
Here is some information about traumatic brain injury:
-TBI is caused by an external blow to the head, typically from falls, accidents, or violence
-Symptoms include unconsciousness, nausea/vomiting, convulsions, muscle weakness and dilation of one or both pupils
-TBI can have a variety of longterm physical and mental effects, including cognitive impairment, disability and death
Researchers from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto conducted a meta-analysis on all available scientific data regarding the prevalence of TBI in homeless individuals. Previous research has demonstrated that homeless people in Canada suffer from several serious health concerns, are more likely to visit the emergency room, and also require longer hospital stays and are at raised risk of death when compared to those with homes. The prevalence of TBI in this population, however, had not yet been determined.
Researchers found that between 8 and 53% of homeless people have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Most of these individuals are men. A majority of these injuries were sustained prior to becoming homeless--an aspect that suggests that TBI may be a significant risk factor for homelessness.
Today's research identifies a a strong association between traumatic brain injury and homelessness, emphasizing the importance of preventing and treating these injuries, especially in the homeless populatio