Turn Text Only Off

Page Utilities

 
BrainLine Kids is a service of WETA logoCBIRT logo
 

Can Symptoms of TBI Show Up a Few Years After an Injury?

Comments [8]

Dr. Jane Gillett, BrainLine

Can Symptoms of TBI Show Up a Few Years After an Injury?
Multimedia
 

My husband and grandson were in a car accident almost two years ago. My grandson was 9-months old at the time. The doctors assured us that he was fine and that there was no damage to his brain. The scans were negative. Now he is almost three and having trouble with his coordination and his language. Could he have had a brain injury after all that is affecting his development?

 

This is always a challenging question. When trying to find a connection between your grandson’s current issues and what might have a been a brain injury in the car crash, it’s important to know what your grandson was acting like immediately after the collision and for the next few days and weeks. This information may be a clue that a brain injury did occur. More specifically:

  • Was he unusually quiet?
  • Did he throw up (not just spit up but actually throw up)?
  • Was he more irritable than usual for several weeks after the collision?
  • Did he lose any of his recently attained skills for a few a weeks and then resume attaining his developmental milestones?

A yes to any of these questions would raise the suspicion of a brain injury.

Plain x-rays do not tell anyone much about the brain and even a CT scan may look normal even if a brain injury has occurred. An EEG done early may have shown the impact the collision had on your grandson’s brain. A MRI of his head with diffusion tensor imaging sequences may demonstrate some evidence of an old injury. If your grandson had any of the symptoms listed, talk with his pediatrician about the possibility that he may have had a TBI when he was a baby.

If he seemed fine right after the accident, then his learning issues are most likely not related to the crash. Whatever the cause, he may be eligible for special education services at no charge. Contact the Child Find office in your public school system to see if he might be eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

 

Click here to go to About Ask the Expert.

Jane Gillett, MDJane Gillett, MD, Dr. Jane Gillett was a neurologist certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in both pediatric and adult neurology. She created and developed the Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Community Outreach Program, Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario. She died in 2011.


The contents of Brainline (the “Web Site”), such as text, graphics, images, information obtained from the Web Site’s licensors and/or consultants, and other material contained on the Web Site (collectively, the “Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for medical, legal, or other professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Specifically, with regards to medical issues, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Web Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. The Web Site does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Web Site. Reliance on any information provided by the Web Site or by employees, volunteers or contractors or others associated with the Web Site and/or other visitors to the Web Site is solely at your own risk.

Comments [8]

I have a friend who had a TBI about five years ago and went through one year of extensive rehab. He does not live near me, but we did meet up a few weeks ago.  During our time together and on the phone, the conversations turned to a sexual nature, in which he basically assured me that we would do this, that, and the other thing, for which he very much wanted, as did I. In essence, after getting my hopes up very high, things took a turn, and the next conversation, he told me that there was no way we could do any of the things, and we could no longer see each other.  I was totally devastated, and could not figure out how he could flit from such a sexual nature to wanting to forget the whole thing and me as well.  My question...can I assume this could or does have something to do with this TBI; and if so, should I realize that this is beyond his control...if it really is?

Nov 22nd, 2014 5:52pm

I was in a motorcycle accident when I was 15 years old.  I hit a telephone pole at an estimated 55mph. I was unconsious for 3 days.   I am now 41 and I have had mental problems primarily depression since I was 37. Before 37, I lived a pretty normal life except for frequent headaches.  My psychiatrist said my symptoms are caused by a change in brain chemistry due to my TBI.  So in my experience, and in the opinion of my doctors,  symptoms of a TBI can occur several years after the actual brain injury.

Oct 14th, 2014 12:19pm

To the psychologist with the 30 yo patient - they have some amazing testing modalities that would likely be able to identify problem areas. There are functional MRI's (not a normal MRI) and SPECT scans, to name a couple. She would need to see a neuropsychologist or neurologist so they could identify the most appropriate testing. With these scans, physicians can actually see the brain functioning and test various areas and types of work that the brain does.   They are even able to evaluate people years later that had birth injury due to lack of O2. Hope this helps. God Bless you all:) 

Jun 24th, 2014 12:05am

I received a subdural hematoma in 1972, being hit by a drunk driver,  I an now 63, and have been sensitive, depressed, low esteem, etc, ever since,  No one has connected the two.  Is it possible, and what should I do to live the remaining years with happiness?

May 18th, 2014 4:30pm

I am now just turned 47 years old.  When I was 18 I was hit by a drunk driver that hit my car broadside at 60MPH +, I don't remember a year before and lost about a year afterwards.

Back then I was just diagnosed with Post Conclusion Syndrome, my cranium was fractured in 8 Places and I was in an awake type coma for 3 days repeating the same questions over and over.

I have had many issues along the way throughout my life with not remembering things the way they happened and my hand writing skills are still declining.

Within the last 4 years I have been having more and more problems and never knew about TBI and therapy until recently.  I have been dealing with chronic headaches that are destroying my life and now two separate occasions I was out with friends and found myself with disorderly conduct charges for episodes of total Delusional States that I don't even remember doing nor do these episodes represents my character or whom I am.

I am very scared now and need to find specialists.  I hope someone has some advise for me.  Please Advise Soon.

Mar 11th, 2014 12:06am

To the person with the 30 year old patient consider communicating with me in email form? I am a 41 year old that suffered a TBI when I was 20 years old. I also have very bad problems in the math area as well as all of the common symptoms of a TBI. I have spent 21 years dealing with this problem in math with doctors shrugging it off. I am now experiencing some new problems from the TBI I believe. And the recent death of my mother on top of it is very much making things worse I think. I know my request is probably asking a lot but I could really use some communication with someone that might understand what is going on with my head. Both my current doctor and past doctors just don't seem to help much when I talk with them. They seem to me like they think that some of my problems are not a big deal, but to me they are a very big deal. Anyway, if you can't respond to me I more then understand and either way your time and consideration is very much appreciated. My email is young.enterprise@suddenlink.net. Thank You, Chris.

Oct 8th, 2013 4:31am

I had a hit on the head 25+ years ago & have been treated for migraines most of this time. One of my triggers is barometric pressure change. We had a year with weather that was mostly stormy and during this period I lost my abilities in math, my short term memory & other things. It was not until then that I found I had PCS. it was explained that under normal circumstance when I had a 'head ache' I had time to for my brain to rest but with a constant trigger I did not. It was a great relief to find what all of the 'odd ball' symptoms I had over the years actually had a name. I am being treated now and I have seen a lot of improvement in my cognitive abilities, however, I think more research needs to be done for the 1 - 4 % of us that dont ever fully recover.

Aug 6th, 2012 6:30pm

I am a psychologist. I have a very intelligent 30 year old patient with some significant problems with math. At age 4 she was hit by a car resulting in loss of consciousness and several skulls fractures and she lost her teeth. Would an MRI all these years later show if she suffered permanent brain damage?

Mar 23rd, 2012 10:34pm


BrainLine Footer

 

© 2014 WETA All Rights Reserved

Javascript is disabled. Please be aware that some parts of the site may not function as expected!