Teens in New Mexico and around the country who frequently consume energy drinks may have a higher risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury according to a study published on Sept. 16. Researchers came to this conclusion after looking at survey information provided by more than 10,000 7th to 12th grade students in 2013. The results of the research was published in the open-access scientific journal PLOS ONE.
The researchers do not claim that energy drinks cause brain injuries directly, but they do point out that teens who consume these drinks on a regular basis are more likely to engage in hazardous activities such as contact sports and binge drinking. They also noted that the makers of these drinks often sponsor events likely to appeal to these teens.
According to the research, energy drink consumption was twice as high among teens who suffered a serious brain injury while playing sports or after drinking. The researchers were particularly concerned about the link found between alcohol, energy drinks and brain injuries. They say that the high caffeine content of energy drinks can mask the effects of alcohol and lead teens to drink far more than they otherwise would. However, the researchers conceded that the ways that energy drinks may affect the brain are not fully understood.
Recovery from a traumatic brain injury can be long and difficult, and this process can be made even more challenging when a correct diagnosis is not made in a timely manner. The parents of teens who suffer a brain injury may seek the advice of an attorney with medical malpractice experience if they suspect that mistakes were made by doctors or hospitals. Attorneys with experience in this area may call upon experts to review medical records to identify procedural or diagnosis errors, and they may file a lawsuit if such mistakes are discovered.