Everyday People Matter

Frequent Concussions Can Increase Multiple Sclerosis Risk Later in Life

| Dec 26, 2017 | Multiple Sclerosis

Young athletes who suffer frequent concussions have a higher risk of suffering multiple sclerosis later in life.

These findings were part of a study recently published in the journal Annals of Neurology.  Researchers in Sweden analyzed medical histories of Swedes who had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis since 1964. When the same data was compared with another control group, the researchers found that the risk of development of multiple sclerosis later in life was higher in people who had suffered multiple head injuries during their youth.  Persons who had suffered at least one concussion were 22% more likely to suffer symptoms of multiple sclerosis later in life, compared to those who had not suffered such injuries. In the case of multiple concussions, the likelihood increased by a staggering 150%.

The study also revealed that concussions do not seem to be so damaging when they occur during childhood. Adolescent brains seem to be much less resilient, making them more vulnerable to the long-term effects of consistent concussions.

Multiple sclerosis is an incurable condition that can be permanent. The symptoms of the condition progressively worsen, and can have a dramatic effect on a person’s lifestyle. As symptoms worsen, they may cause blindness, loss of balance, difficulty walking, coordination problems, lack of bowel and bladder control, hearing loss, and loss of muscular control.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines a condition that qualifies for disability benefits as one that has lasted for, or is expected to last for a minimum of 12 months. Getting a claim approved can be challenging  because several types of multiple sclerosis cause long periods of sickness, alternating with periods in which there are no obvious symptoms. However, the SSA identifies some types of multiple sclerosis as disabilities that automatically qualify for benefits.

If your loved one suffers from multiple sclerosis, it’s important to have the very best social security disability attorney on your side as the process can be challenging and requires adherence to very specific rules.