Pituitary Dysfunction and Traumatic Brain Injuries
Our attorneys are national leaders of brain injury representation pioneering awareness of this problem in the national legal community.
The pituitary gland is often called the "master gland," and for good reason. Located right at the base of the brain, an area highly vulnerable to brain injury, the pituitary sends hormonal signals from the brain to the rest of the body. Injuries such as whiplash, falls and blunt force trauma can cause damage to the pituitary, which can wreak havoc on the body. And it's a widespread problem - some research indicates that as many as half of traumatic brain injuries involve damage to the pituitary, with even the most conservative estimates putting the number at one in five.
Depending on what part of the pituitary gland is damaged, the symptoms of this type of brain injury can be many and varied. Your life may be affected for many years - or permanently. That's why you need a skilled brain injury lawyer from NLE Law on your side.
How pituitary injuries happen
|Because the pituitary gland plays such a vitally important role in the body, it's protected by a saddle-like compartment of the skull called the "sella turcica," located at the base of the brain. During an accident that causes rapid movement of the brain, the pituitary gland stays in place as the brain moves forward and backward. This causes stretching and tearing of the blood vessels and nerves that connect the pituitary gland to the brain - much like a whiplash injury to the neck caused by violent movement of the head.|
|Those injuries can reduce the blood supply to certain portion of the pituitary, which in turn interferes with the production of certain hormones. That's why people with pituitary injuries often have low levels of human growth hormone, testosterone or other hormones.|
Low growth hormone, testosterone, and cortisol levels can have long-term consequences
Low or absent levels of growth hormones can cause not only physiological issues, but also changes in behavior or personality. Unfortunately, that means many injuries resulting in pituitary damage are misdiagnosed as psychological issues.
Low or absent growth hormone can lead to reduced body mass, bone mass and muscle mass as well as a higher risk of high blood pressure and an increased chance of developing diabetes. Left untreated, this can lead to serious complications including potentially deadly cardiovascular problems. In men, low testosterone levels caused by damage to the pituitary can lead to exhaustion, sterility and significant personality changes. People who were previously outgoing and energetic may become apathetic and withdrawn. Low cortisol levels can also be very dangerous.
When traumatic brain injuries involving pituitary damage affect children, these consequences can be even more severe. Lack of growth hormone can cause a loss of growth velocity as well as obesity. Hormonal imbalances can affect puberty and cause bone or muscle loss, with lifelong effects on the child's health.
To make these cases even more difficult, medical literature says there is little relationship between injury severity and hormone levels; even a seemingly minor TBI, such as a concussion sustained playing sports or in a fall, can lead to significant hormone imbalances due to pituitary damage. This is just one more reason why no injury to the brain is ever truly minor - and why it's so important to have strong, knowledgeable representation.
We fight for full and fair compensation for victims of traumatic brain injury
Hormone replacement therapy is expensive, and the long-term consequences of a pituitary injury can be severe. That's why it's critical for victims of traumatic brain injury to be screened for hormone deficiencies even when the injury is seemingly mild. And that's why it's so important to have an attorney on your side who understands all of the medical complexities surrounding an injury to the brain.
In the legal field, NLE Law is leading the charge on cases involving pituitary dysfunction after a traumatic brain injury. This is a very new issue in TBI cases, and objectively documenting the extent of your losses is important. We will conduct thorough research, review your medical records and track down evidence, even if it takes months or years to do so. Our connections in the medical community will help you get the treatment you need, and we'll put our extensive experience and legal knowledge to work on your behalf.
If you or a loved one have experienced personality changes after a head injury, or if you have any other reason to suspect damage to the pituitary or low hormone levels, contact us right away. We would be happy to meet with you for a free, confidential consultation. Call (206) 623-7520.