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Brain injuries like Schumacher's can destroy lives: Study

Published on Jan 16, 2014 6:11 AM
 
Germany's Michael Schumacher smiles in the pit area after completing his second qualifying session of the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix in this Aug 15, 1998 file photo. People with severe head injuries like the one that left Schumacher in critical condition have permanently altered brains that make the victims more likely to become mentally ill and die prematurely, scientists said on Wednesday. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - People with severe head injuries like the one that left Michael Schumacher in critical condition have permanently altered brains that make the victims more likely to become mentally ill and die prematurely, scientists said on Wednesday.

Brain experts said most health services fail to make the link between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and long-term mental consequences, meaning patients can fall through the net into depression, behavioural problems and crime.

While Schumacher, a wealthy and famous former motor-racing driver well supported by family, friends and doctors, is in a far better position that most with TBI, he will nevertheless still have a changed brain and will need to readjust and cope.

"If Schumacher survives he will not be Schumacher. He will be (Mr) Bloggs. And his rehabilitation will only be effective if he comes to terms with being Bloggs - and fulfils what Bloggs can do," said Mr Richard Greenwood, a consultant neurologist at London's Homerton Hospital and at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

 
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