Traumatic Brain Injury is Linked to Schizophrenia, but is it a Cause?

Traumatic Brain Injury is Linked to SchizophreniaA new study regarding Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and schizophrenia has researchers taking a second look at the link between TBI and schizophrenia. The study shows that those who suffer a brain injury may also be at a higher risk for schizophrenia. The problem is worse in patients with a genetic risk for the mental disorder.

The Study

Past research on the link between TBI and schizophrenia has not been able to prove that TBI causes mental disease. This is because those diagnosed with schizophrenia are treated in the mental health system. They rarely arrive in clinics that treat head injuries.

This study group was made of 600 patients with a genetic risk for schizophrenia. These patients had at least two relatives diagnosed with the disease. Some patients were already schizophrenic. Researchers found that those already diagnosed with schizophrenia were three times more likely to have prior head injuries than the other patients.

A Link or Cause?

Some may wonder if schizophrenia made the head injury more likely and not the other way around. Researchers from this study disagree because the study looked at head injuries in both diagnosed and undiagnosed patients with a risk for schizophrenia. The group with the mental illness had a much higher number of prior head injuries. This leads to the belief that experiencing a head injury increases the risk of developing the mental disorder.

Another reason to believe this comes from a 1,300-person study of patients. Some were at genetic risk for schizophrenia and others had at least two first-degree relatives with bipolar disorder. The study showed that the number of prior head injuries in the schizophrenic group was much higher than in the bipolar group. This makes it more likely that individuals already at genetic risk for schizophrenia are also more likely to have a brain injury.

Another Theory

Some researchers still believe the head injury does not trigger the schizophrenia. They believe that the mental disease can make head injury more likely. This may come from the severe lack of attention that most schizophrenic patients have.

Patients may not react as quickly to a fall as someone with better attention skills. This lack of attention or slowness to react could lead to accidents or injuries, especially head injuries in falls. Not only is lack of attention one of the biggest signs of schizophrenia, it is among the first symptoms that lead to patients being diagnosed with the disease.

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If you or a loved one has experienced a traumatic brain injury and may be suffering from schizophrenia, contact our office. Our experienced, caring attorneys will do everything they can to make sure that you are fully compensated for any past or future medical bills, as well as any pain or suffering or loss of income incurred due to this injury. Contact us now for your free consultation and evaluation.

3 thoughts on “Traumatic Brain Injury is Linked to Schizophrenia, but is it a Cause?

  1. Michael Ramsey

    I am contacting you concerning myself. I am very confused, Idon’t understand how I can have lucid thoughts one minute and not seem to be connected the next minute. I suffered a tramactic brain ijury and I know that I am suffering from a mutitude of problems.,but I don’t understand how i can speck and write letters tah are lucid, and then ,…have issuse at the same time. I am paranoid constantly, one minute I feel fine and the next I am convinced that everybody is in on a conspiracy.. how the hell can a peson KNOW that they aren’t thinking right?..I thought that either a person is crazy or they aren’t…..My temper bothers me.. that is why I know that I need help. i don’t want to be angry….I have control, Im not violent,, I just seem to dislike everybody.I don’t want to hurt anyone.. I have control over that but I get angry very quick over nothing and then I calm don and I feel bad. Ther are ahost of other things…I have thoughts of not wanting to be here. I think that the reason that I can function really well most of the time is because I have had to be selfsufficent for so long..Im thinking that it’s just survival instinc kicking in I am afraid to say to much because I don’t want this to come back and bite me. I don’t want to be locked up.Right after I got injured I was having to live on the streets..totally alone. and i was in bad shapebut I had to survive so i used to go the libary and try to readabout my injury and condition… I had a hard time staying awake. and i couldn’t then or now retain what i read..it’s more of an understanding than it is actual knowledge. man i can’t explain.. but im so very tired..look let me say again..im not violent.. just very angry at everything and nothing please dont report me as a danger..im not.. imjust tired and sad.. I know that I shouldnt be able to have clear thoughts and then not clear thoughts..I just need somebody to care a little. and explain some things to me..ok? im embarrased..look i died on the helicopter to the hospial and straight to brain surgery.thats what i wa told. i was told that i am hurt! man dont i know it.

  2. Luis Poveda

    Last November 13 my nephew (19 year old) suffered a car accident . CT scan showed multiple areas of small subdural hemorraghe, diffuse cerebral edema and a midline shift to the left. Also the right lateral ventricle was depressed. After a decompressive craniectomy (December 1), he got a little recovered, at now he is breathing by himself, without ventilator.
    My nephew was diagnosed with schizophrenia 3 years ego and since then was admitted several times in psychiatric hospitals. My sister (the mother) applied for disability due to the schizophrenic condition of my nephew but received a negative answer. Now we are in a more difficult situation after the accident and in the next days we are going to apply again for disability in waiting a positive response from social security. We are of Cuban origin, my sister (single mother) and nephew are resident in the US since 2000. Now my nephew don’t have Medicare or Medicaid insurances, only an insurance which covered medical cares for its schizophrenia. We appreciated a lot any help or information about what to do in this difficult situation.
    My nephew name is Mauricio Uranga and is at the Methodist Dallas Medical Center
    My sister name: Siria Poveda

    your faithfully

    Luis Poveda

  3. Grace Lisa Lily-Jeter

    I was overdosed with another patients high doses of medication when her chart was mixed in with my chart. I was 33 at the time with no history of mental illness. The other patients chart was a 53 year old alcoholic with a long history of mental illness. She was on high doses of thorazine and other anti-psychotic medications. I was blood tested in the hospital for drugs and my blood tests all came back negative for any drugs in my blood stream. I refused medication, but was having hallucinations from lack of sleep. I had told them I had an injury at work and I was experiencing insomnia from withdrawls from vicodin and wanted something to help me sleep. They put me in the psychiatric ward instead of the sleep studies floor or a room in the hospital because I had no insurance. I had only experienced paranoia from lack of sleep and thought somebody was following me ( I was reliving a traumatic experience from my childhood, when a high school boy molested me) They mixed in this others womans chart into my charts and overdosed me with her medications. Large doses of thorazine. I began to hear voices in my head for the first time in my life. I told the doctor I heard angels and demons fighting in my head. He put this on my chart, and a few years later I was diagnosed by social security as being schizophrenic and was given disability pay. I was incoherant and mostly homeless for the most of 9 years and unable to file a lawsuit. I was abused at Harborview Hospital in January 2001. Is it too late to file a lawsuit. I have only just become lucid enough to file a lawsuit, but I have been told I only had 3 years to file a lawsuit. I hope this is not true, because I was completely incoherant and homeless the 3 years following the hospital abuse and unable to file a lawsuit. I couldn’t even talk for almost 5 years. I would write notes to people because I was afraid of the voices in my head when I spoke. 2 attorneys turned down my case for this reason. They believed I would not be a credible witness if I would not speak in court. I tried to obtain an attorney within the first three years, but they wouldn’t take my case. thank you. Grace

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