A Royal Headache

Some scholars believe that the erratic behavior of 16th century English monarch Henry VIII was caused by a brain injury he suffered earlier in life.

In the 1520s, the king suffered a string of head injuries. In 1524, a lance penetrated his helmet during a jousting match. A year later, Henry fell head-first into a shallow brook that he was trying to pole-vault. Then, in 1536, he lost consciousness for two hours after a jousting horse fell on him. In the wake of these injuries, Henry exhibited classic head trauma symptoms. He experienced impotency issues as early as 1533. Henry was also prone to violent mood swings; for example, in 1546, he assured his sixth wife that he would not lock her in the Tower of London and then, only hours later, angrily chastised his soldiers for not arresting her.

Henry VIII triggered the English Reformation when he began the Church of England after the Catholic Church refused to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so he could marry Anne Boleyn.

Traumatic Brain Injury Causes

Admittedly, jousting mishaps and epic-fail pole vaults are not among the most common causes of TBIs. As early as 2003, the Centers for Disease Control called brain injuries a “public health crisis,” and the crisis has worsened over the last decade.

Some of the most common TBI causes are:

  • Motor Vehicle Crash: Airbags and seatbelts were designed to limit trauma injuries and not eliminate head and spine injuries.
  • Falls: Older Americans are the most at-risk age group for falls, and also the most at-risk age group for head injuries.
  • Assaults: It only requires a tiny bit of force to inflict a head injury on an older adult or young child.

Today, about 1.7 million people sustain a TBI in America each year, and 80 percent of them are rushed to a local emergency room.

TBI Symptoms

These injuries often go undiagnosed because the symptoms are so similar to trauma and dementia. These symptoms include:

  • Headache: Most victims report a constant stabbing pain, sometimes on both sides of their heads.
  • Memory Loss: Short term memory loss comes first, such as losing car keys, followed by more permanent memory loss, including the failure to recognize friends and loved ones.
  • Sexual Dysfunction: The part of the brain that controls these bodily functions is in a particularly vulnerable area.
  • Dissipation: Problems focusing on a singular task for any length of time make it difficult to function almost anywhere.

These injuries are always permanent, at least to some degree, because dead brain cells do not regenerate. But most victims improve dramatically following lengthy physical rehabilitation.

TBIs have lifelong consequences for victims and their families. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Fayetteville, contact the Wade Law Office. You have a limited amount of time to act.

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