Research by Swedish scientists has found a higher risk of committing violent crimes after a person suffers a brain injury. However, the same researchers have found no link between epilepsy and a higher risk of violent crime.
The results of the study are likely to carry more weight, because they are based on a study of more than 22,000 people with a brain injury. These people comprised all people with a traumatic brain injury in Sweden over a period of 35 years. These persons were monitored over this period of time, in order to gauge the risk of violence. The researchers found that among persons with a brain injury, approximately 8.9% committed a violent crime like homicide or rape, compared to just 3% of the population without a brain injury.
When the researchers analyzed patients with epilepsy, they found the odds for violence at 1.5. However, when they adjusted for familial factors, they found that this increase no longer applied. For a long time now, people have believed that persons who suffer from epilepsy are at a much higher risk of violence. This study confirms to Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers that that is simply not true. However in the case of traumatic brain injury, the research showed a definite increased risk of committing violent crimes after being diagnosed with the injury.
Considering that this research is based on such a hefty sample and monitored subjects over 35 years, it does make sense that doctors take these risks seriously. Doctors treating patients with traumatic brain injury must include an assessment and plan for management of the risks of possible criminal activity in their treatment of a patient. Currently, there are no such regulations in place for doctors to assess criminal activity risks. Maybe that should change.