FILE -- letter to the editor

Thank you for your coverage of the death of UW-Stout student Hussain Saeed Alnahdi and reporting traumatic brain injury as the cause.

Perhaps some good can come of this senseless situation by raising awareness of the danger of TBI and how it is linked to violence. Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death among children and people between the ages of 18-35. Assault is the third most-frequent cause of TBI, with falls and auto accidents being the two leading causes.

Despite this, very few people are aware of TBI until it happens to them or someone they know.

It is important to dispel the myth that your brain can readily bounce back from injury. Unlike the television detective shows where the hero gets knocked out on a weekly basis only to catch the criminal at episode’s end and return unharmed the next week, real life is different. Such beatings would have a negative, cumulative effect. As was the case in Menomonie, sometimes one beating is fatal.

Unlike Mr. Alnahdi, many people survive TBI and struggle through life with severe impairments including loss of memory, headaches, impulse control issues and many types of diminished mental and physical abilities. Think of people trapped in domestic violence situations, abused children or even people prone to fist fighting. We’re not surprised when boxers or MMA fighters damage their brains, but what about these people?

I hope this letter and Mr. Alnahdi’s senseless death will cause people to think about the connection between violence and TBI. It runs deeper than one unfortunate headline.

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Karl Curtis,

Madison

Karl Curtis is executive director of the Brain Injury Alliance of Wisconsin in Madison.

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