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Education key to recovery after brain injury-causing accidents

To most New Yorkers, brain trauma can be a serious situation. After a blow to the head or other type of accident, many victims struggle with brain damage and other brain-related issues for many years or even the rest of their lives. However, there is hope for those who suffer from head injuries, and the key to recovery lies in education.

A study by Johns Hopkins University scientists shows that more education equates to a better rate of recovery. The study analyzed 769 people age 23 and older who suffered from at least moderate brain injuries. More than half -- 51 percent -- had graduated from high school and had taken some college courses. A quarter of the patients had at least a four-year degree, while 24 percent did not complete high school. The analysis lasted for one year after the injury.

All study participants had equal access to health care. The services were also of the same quality. But compared to those who didn't graduate from high school, college graduates had a seven-fold higher chance of a complete recovery. Thirty-one percent of those with some college education fully recovered, as did 39 percent of those with an undergraduate degree or higher. Only 10 percent of participants who didn't graduate from high school made a complete recovery.

This is good news for the 2.5 million Americans who suffer from brain injury-causing accidents every year. This shows that exercising the brain and using it to perform more complex tasks can help strengthen it in order to recuperate from injuries and slow down symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. It shows that head injuries caused by someone else's negligence may not be as long-lasting as once thought. This could affect the amount of accident compensation required to treat a victim.

Source: CBS News, "People with more education may recover better from brain injury" Maureen Salamon, Apr. 24, 2014

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