In a paper published recently in the journal Neurology, researchers from the University of Alabama-Birmingham outlined the results of tests they performed on those who had recently suffered a TBI. The team asked TBI patients to make medical decisions by presenting to them scenarios of hypothetical medical problems and possible treatment options. The patients were then asked examined by team members to determine whether they could express their treatment choices, understand the personal consequences of their choices, provide explanations for their choices, and show that they understood the relative risks of the different treatment options.

Researchers discovered that the decision-making capacity of those who suffer a TBI is “clearly diminished” in the days immediately following their injuries. Those who suffered a moderate TBI were generally impaired for up to 30 days after their injuries. Those who suffered more severe TBIs were impaired for significantly longer, depending on the severity of the injury.

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