A new study released last month reports that energy drinks may be linked to traumatic brain injury in teens. This may be a concern for many parents since young people appear to increasingly choose energy drinks over soda, according to reports. In addition, about 50% of adolescents consume energy drinks, and 31% do so on a regular basis.
Related: Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms (A Philadelphia, PA sports injury lawyer talks about symptoms of traumatic brain injury.)
The study was conducted by the Neurosurgery and Injury Prevention Research Office at St. Michael’s Hospital in Canada. The study surveyed 10,272 students from the 7th and 12th grade in 2013 and found that teens who reported having a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the past year were seven times more likely to report drinking at least five energy drinks in the prior week, compared to teens who did not have a traumatic brain injury.
In addition, teens who experienced a traumatic brain injury in the prior 12 months were at least twice more likely to report drinking energy drinks mixed with alcohol. Teens who sustained brain injuries while playing sports like hockey had double the odds of drinking energy drinks in the prior year, compared to teens who suffered brain injuries from other accidents such as car accidents.
The author of the study stated that the common denominator between traumatic brain injuries and energy drinks may be sports. Marketing campaigns for energy drinks often include sponsorship of sports events that are very appealing to teens, such as snowboarding.
Young people consuming energy drinks mixed with alcohol is of a particular concern because the caffeine in the drinks can mask the effects of alcohol. Therefore, it is more difficult for the person to determine when they should stop drinking.
Though there is no definitive data on the effects of energy drinks on the brain, researchers are worried about the effects on brain development which continues until the mid-20s or even early 30s. More research needs to be done to understand the connection.
It will be interesting to see what future studies find about energy drinks and traumatic brain injuries.
Daniel J. O’Brien, Esq. has been practicing injury law for 30 years. He is licensed in PA and NJ. He has helped individuals who sustained brain injuries in sports accidents, car accidents and other types of injury accidents. If you have questions about an accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury, call Mr. O’Brien to schedule a FREE consultation. 877.944.8396
Source: www.time.com (Study Links Energy Drinks and Traumatic Brain Injury in Teens)