TBI is a broad term used to describe the effects of blunt force trauma on the brain. It is usually measured as a “head injury”, but some researchers believe that any kind of brain trauma can result in TBI (for example, back injury).

The severity of TBI has been studied using various neuroimaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional MRI (fMRI). The MRI studies have shown that even mild TBI can result in significant structural changes in the brain. TBI can also cause a wide variety of neurological symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and memory deficits.

 The Different Levels of Severity of TBI

The severity of TBI can be measured in a number of ways.

The first way is by clinical assessment. This involves an examination, including a neurological exam and lab tests, to determine if the patient has suffered a mild, moderate, or severe brain injury. A mild brain injury is one in which there is no change in the degree of consciousness or loss of memory for any substantial period of time. A moderate brain injury is one in which some level of consciousness may be affected but other functions may still be intact. A severe brain injury is one that causes total loss of consciousness and other functions such as thinking and memory are lost permanently.

brain frontal lobe

 Symptoms of Mild TBI

There are two ways to measure the severity of TBI. One is the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) or the Edinburgh Coma Scale (ECS) a scale that assesses mental status using a scale from 0-15 with 0 being completely unresponsive. 

The other is the San Diego TBI Scale (SDTS). The SDTS uses a scale from 1-5 where 1 is completely unresponsive and 5 is totally responsive. The scale takes into account more than just the level of consciousness but also measures how much cognitive function is affected by brain injury.

The GCS and ECS are both used to help assess patients with TBI, however, they may not be as sensitive or specific as the SDTS. A recent study found that an older population, who have been previously diagnosed with mild-moderate TBI, had a higher likelihood of experiencing TBI than younger patients. 

In addition, patients who have suffered TBI may require different treatment protocols for recovery and rehabilitation compared to those who have been diagnosed with mild-moderate TBI. This can be problematic because many experts believe the severity of TBI depends on many factors including age, gender, the severity of the injury, and previous experience with injury.

 Symptoms of Moderate TBI

TBI is a condition that results from injury to the brain. The brain is a complex organ and it can be injured in several different ways, such as a blow to the head or when an object falls on it, for example.

The severity of TBI can be measured in one of two ways: Motor Symptoms – The severity of TBI depends on whether or not the patient’s ability to walk or function normally is affected.

Psychological Symptoms – The severity of TBI depends on whether or not the patient has any memory loss, difficulty concentrating, depression, panic attacks, and/or other psychological symptoms that interfere with their daily life.

Cognitive Symptoms – The severity of TBI depends on whether or not the patient has any memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and/or other cognitive symptoms that interfere with their daily life.

Emotional Symptoms – The severity of TBI depends on whether or not the patient has any tension, anxiety, or depression affecting their everyday functioning.

Cognitive symptoms can also include issues related to learning and memory and affect one’s level of consciousness (for example confusion). Psychological symptoms can include issues such as mood changes, self-harm behaviors, and addiction. All three types are important aspects of TBI that should be assessed when evaluating a patient’s condition.

Practical considerations for assessing the severity of brain injuries include:

– If a person is able to stand up from a sitting position (across from four feet away), they have less than 40% chance they will fall down within 48 hours after the injury, but this may vary depending upon how severe the injury was (numbness and weakness in muscles).

– Examinations should always take place at least 48 hours after an injury.

Symptoms of Moderate TBI

TBI is a condition that results from injury to the brain. The brain is a complex organ and it can be injured in several different ways, such as a blow to the head or when an object falls on it, for example.

The severity of TBI can be measured in one of two ways: Motor Symptoms – The severity of TBI depends on whether or not the patient’s ability to walk or function normally is affected.

Psychological Symptoms – The severity of TBI depends on whether or not the patient has any memory loss, difficulty concentrating, depression, panic attacks, and/or other psychological symptoms that interfere with their daily life.

Cognitive Symptoms – The severity of TBI depends on whether or not the patient has any memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and/or other cognitive symptoms that interfere with their daily life.

Emotional Symptoms – The severity of TBI depends on whether or not the patient has any tension, anxiety, or depression affecting their everyday functioning.

Cognitive symptoms can also include issues related to learning and memory and affect one’s level of consciousness (for example confusion). Psychological symptoms can include issues such as mood changes, self-harm behaviors, and addiction. All three types are important aspects of TBI that should be assessed when evaluating a patient’s condition.

Practical considerations for assessing the severity of brain injuries include:

– If a person is able to stand up from a sitting position (across from four feet away), they have less than 40% chance they will fall down within 48 hours after the injury, but this may vary depending upon how severe the injury was (numbness and weakness in muscles).

 

“There are three levels of severity and each level should be understood in a different way. There is mild, moderate, and severe TBI. Mild TBI is a physical injury that can be treated with simple rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), while moderate TBI is a physical injury that requires more complex treatment. Severe TBI is a physical injury that needs more complex treatment.”

About The Author

Tiffany Dyar

Tiffany Dyar is the former Executive Director for The Center for Health Innovation & Implementation Science, and the former Program Manager at Regenstrief Institute.Tiffany has co-authored several medical publications including The American Journal of Critical Care  Journal of General Internal Medicine Trials Journal  Best Practices in Mental Health  & The New England Journal of Medicine

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