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Recovery from brain injuries might be affected by education level

For many people, the benefits of going to college are ingrained in their brains. Better job opportunities and an increased earning capacity are two of the benefits of a college education. Those, however, aren't the only benefits according to a new study published in Neurology. The findings of this study might interest readers in Pennsylvania.

The study reports that the more education a person has, the more likely their brain is to recover after a traumatic brain injury. It is theorized that a person with a higher education will have a greater cognitive reserve than a person who has less education.

In the case of Alzheimer's disease, patients with a college education will likely have fewer symptoms than a person who didn't graduate from high school, even though both patients are at the same stage of the disease.

This new study examined the medical records of people who were at least 23 years old. The 769 people had suffered moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries. Of those, 39 percent of the people who had college degrees were able to return to work or school free from any disability. Only 31 percent of people with some college education and only 10 percent of people who didn't have a high school diploma fared the same.

It is assumed that the added brain capacity allows the more educated people to adapt to the changes in the brain or work around those areas with greater ease. A neurosurgery professor at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center says that the findings don't explain exactly how the brain copes. He says either the brain of the educated individual masks the symptoms better or has better strategies for recovering from the injury.

Anyone who is working toward recovering from a traumatic brain injury has a lot of work to do. Proper medical care after the injury can help the person to have the best outcome possible. Anyone who has a TBI might have a right to seek compensation for the injury or for lack of proper medical care during diagnosis and treatment.

Source:,College educated brains recover better from injury, study suggests Nick LaFave, Apr. 24, 2014

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