Brain injury can be both a devastating and an extremely confusing experience.

On the one hand, it is an injury that tests the limits of your physical and emotional capabilities. It is an injury that may leave you a shell of a person. You may feel lost in the world, with no sense of self or identity. 

There might be some confusion about what brain injury really means in terms of severity and its effect on both physical and social life. One way or another, a brain injury could impact any or all of us in various ways; whether physical, mental, or emotional in nature.

A recent article by Dr. Charles Derosa wrote:

TBI mild brain damage
“In its simplest form, brain injury is when there isn’t enough blood supply for cells to function properly … That is why you see people with strokes and brain tumors who have had their eyes cut out … Patients with severe head injuries are at risk for rapid de-regulation [loss of intellectual functions] as well as personality changes . . . There are several different types of severe TBI that include blunt force trauma, penetrating trauma, serious falls, subdural hematomas (hematoma inside the skull ), intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding into the brain) … Needless to say, there are no ‘one size fits all answers when it comes to answering these questions; each case will require individual attention and intervention as appropriate .”

 Statistics About TBI

TBI is a serious injury that can have multiple levels of severity. Brain injuries can impact the physical and emotional health of those who suffer from them.

For those who have experienced TBI, they may be faced with some of the following questions:

– How long will I suffer from this condition?

– Will this condition affect my everyday life?

– Will I be able to work after this injury?

The majority of people who experience TBI come to terms with the fact that they may never be the same. We all have different ways to cope with our traumas and traumatic events. The most common way individuals cope with the symptoms of TBI is by flushing them out through activity or activity cessation. 

There are also many ways people address their symptoms such as emotional or non-emotional coping, avoidance, and seeking psychological support from others. Some have reported that these coping mechanisms allow them to continue living life while still suffering symptoms. 

This sometimes leads to further debilitating conditions such as depression, anxiety, anger issues, and suicidal thoughts due to unresolved stressors within themselves or in relationship with others (Wulff et al., 2014; Lefkowith et al., 2014).

There are several statistics pertaining to TBI that help us understand how prevalent it is in our society (Nestor et al., 2013). According to research conducted by Nestor et al., national estimates show that approximately 1 in 100 people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year (Nestor et al., 2013). 

In Canada alone there were more than 160 000 brain injuries in 2011; two-thirds of those occurring among youth aged 10-14 years old (Ruslanova & McCallum 2013). A recent study published by Kostrzewa et al. found that almost half of all brain injuries occur within 14 days after birth (Kostrzewa et al., 2012). On average, brain injuries occur every 29 seconds and affect more than 1 person per minute in each country (Kostrzewa & Kostrzewa, 2015).

Current Treatments for TBI

Current treatments for TBI have advanced light years from even the recent treatments.

TBI isn’t a new thing. In fact, it has been around for thousands and thousands of years. The first documented case of a person with TBI was a woman who was thrown from a horse but survived. A person with TBI can experience multiple symptoms that can be physical or mental.

The symptoms vary depending on the severity of the injury. A mild TBI might be characterized by dizziness and vision problems, along with tremors and fatigue. This could last for only a day or two, but it could be more severe if the damage is extensive.

A severe TBI is characterized by seizures that have caused permanent damage to the brain or the death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen in the bloodstream (brain death). Seizures can have physical effects such as blurry vision or nausea, and mental effects such as confusion, agitation, or depression.

All these are different levels of severity and are categorized into three degrees – mild, moderate, and severe. 

Mild TBI is not life-threatening, but it might cause slight–moderate symptoms such as dizziness and short-term memory loss while moderate TBI has moderate symptoms including short-term memory loss while severe TBI causes permanent damage to brain cells causing death due to lack of oxygen in the bloodstream (brain death).

 What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a condition that affects the brain. It is one of the leading causes of death in American society, and one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. TBI is more than a physical injury to the brain. It can be a psychological or emotional condition that impacts how you live your life and how others treat you.

A traumatic brain injury can often cause long-term problems, including memory loss, personality change, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other stress-related issues. The effects of TBI depend on which part of the brain is affected by it, who’s suffering from it, when it happened, where it happened and for how long after it happened.

 How Does a TBI Affect the Brain?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a brain injury that affects the brain or the nervous system. The effects of TBI can be long-term and are not something to take lightly. Brain injuries have devastating consequences that hinder a person’s lifelong ability to function in society. The severity of TBI varies greatly.

Injury types include mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), moderate TBI, severe TBI, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

The effects of TBI may be permanent and therefore require continuous care and treatment, or they may be reversible and result in improvements over time.

What are the Different Types of TBI?

In the past, Head and Neck Trauma centers across the US have experienced a surge in patients with TBI and Concussion. This is due to the rising prevalence of concussions in sports and increased awareness of concussions in general.

A study published by the American Academy of Neurology has found that sports-related concussions are more common than previously believed. The study shows that the number of sports-related concussions rose to over 3.2 million cases in 2010, an increase from 2.2 million in 2009.

The symptoms of TBI can vary widely depending on the severity of your concussion and whether you are experiencing secondary headaches or other symptoms such as nausea or vomiting (vomiting). For example, some people who experience TBI report feeling dizzy or nauseous after a concussion, while others may experience headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and sensitivity to light/heat.

Severe TBIs (also known as progressive brain injuries) can affect a person’s cognitive abilities for life leaving them unable to remember critical information about their environment due to memory loss — this can include remembering where they left their keys before falling down the stairs on their way to work for example. Additionally, severe brain injury can cause memory problems including learning disabilities such as dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

TBI is not caused by falls from great heights or automobile accidents; it is more common than previously thought.

How is TBI Diagnosed?

TBI is a serious condition. For every individual who suffers a head injury, there are many others who don’t.

That’s because the diagnosis of TBI is very complicated and difficult to make until the brain has been completely damaged, which occurs after a severe injury that involves the brain stem and central nervous system.

The effects of a traumatic brain injury can be divided into two categories, permanent and temporary. Permanent consequences are long-term and irreversible. Temporary consequences include short-term, reversible effects that can be caused by different factors such as alcohol or medications.

TBI can affect any part of the body that is exposed to trauma, including the brain itself. It can also impact the heart and other organs in addition to the brain itself. These results may not be seen immediately but may take weeks or months to show up such as headaches, slurred speech, hearing difficulties, neck stiffness, or even paralysis or seizures due to another cause such as meningitis or epilepsy.

TBI is a serious condition, which has multiple levels of severity. The complications of brain injuries can impact your physical and emotional health. Traumatic brain injury if left untreated can have symptoms that last for a lifetime.

By the time you are aware of the seriousness of TBI, it is too late to implement any treatment options, which may include surgical procedures.

TBI can affect several areas in the brain leading to symptoms that extend beyond “normal” daily activities. The symptoms are caused by uncontrolled bleeding from large blood vessels that connect the brain to other organs. If a person does not get immediate care for TBI, it can lead to permanent life-long consequences due to complications including;

Dementia: A person who has suffered from TBI may become confused and lose their memory over time due to various reasons, such as lack of oxygen entering the brain or damage caused by the head trauma itself.

Disorientation: A person who suffers from TBI may become disoriented and function on instinct alone causing them to perform actions without thought leading to accidents or sudden death in extreme cases associated with lack of oxygen entering into the brain causing their heart rate and blood pressure to drop as well as causing their body temperature drop resulting in hypothermia (inability to control body temperature).

Death: A person who suffers from TBI may experience sudden death due to conditions such as heart attacks which result in death usually within minutes unless medical care is administered during this period and if no advances were made during this time period then death may occur within days or weeks depending on the severity of disease progression from an inability for blood flow into their bodies or inability for oxygen reaching their brain causing them to breathe using their own lungs instead of relying on an artificial breathing device such as a ventilator or artificial respirator.

Memory Loss: A person who suffers from TBI may lose all memory over time through various reasons including loss of oxygen entering into the brain or damage caused by head trauma itself by either direct trauma like falling on hard surfaces or indirect trauma like car accidents. The result is a total loss of memory resulting in confusion, loss of personal identities such as sanity, apathy, depression, etc., impaired concentration, inability for concentration, lack of motivation, loss of appetite, dizziness, drowsiness, etc., lack of coordination resulting in poor reflexes and poor judgment.

Treatment Options: Treatment options available vary depending on how severe your condition

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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