Published on March 22, 2013 at 7:04 AM
The studies Dr. Topolovec-Vranic and her team reviewed found that anywhere between 8 and 53 per cent of homeless people-mostly men--have traumatic brain injuries. The majority suffered a TBI before becoming homeless, suggesting TBI might be a risk factor for homelessness. It's also possible that impulse control disorders, for example, could predispose individuals to both TBI and homelessness, she said.
Traumatic brain injuries are caused by a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. The severity can range from mild, characterized by a brief change in mental status, to severe, which could include unconsciousness or amnesia. TBI is associated with low subsequent employment rates, which can contribute to a downward spiral into homelessness.
"It is also suggested that in the homeless population, cognitive impairment may increase the risk of remaining homeless, illustrating the potential for TBIs to contribute to the chronicity of homelessness," Dr. Topolovec-Vranic said.
Source: St. Michael's Hospital