9 1/2 Need-to-Know Facts About Traumatic Brain Injury

9 1/2 Need-to-Know Things About Traumatic Brian Injury

We've compiled the top 9 1/2 things to know about traumatic brain injury, it would have been 10 but the last 1/2 was left off because memory is often affected by traumatic brain injury.

1. A traumatic brain injury is a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. You do not need to lose consciousness to sustain a concussion.

2. Each year, 2.8 million people are treated for TBI in a U.S. emergency department.1 By the numbers, every American has more than a 1:160 chance of sustaining a traumatic brain injury each year.

3. The three groups at highest risk for traumatic brain injury are children (0-4 year olds), teenagers (15-19 year olds), and adults (65 and older).1

4. Estimates peg the number of sports-related traumatic brain injuries as high as 3.8 million per year.2

5. Using a seatbelt and wearing a helmet are the best ways to prevent a TBI.

6. Males are almost twice as likely as females to sustain a TBI.1

7. A concussion is a mild brain injury. The consequences of multiple concussions can be far more dangerous than those of a first TBI.3

8. The area most often injured are the frontal lobes that control thinking and emotional regulation.

9. A blow to one part of the brain can cause damage throughout.

9 1/2. Most people do make a good recovery from TBI.

If you found this useful, please share with family and friends or leave a comment below if you think we've left something off.

Posted on BrainLine December 30, 2017. Reviewed July 26, 2018.

1. Taylor CA, Bell JM, Breiding MJ, Xu L. Traumatic Brain Injury–Related Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths — United States, 2007 and 2013. MMWR Surveill Summ 2017;66(No. SS-9):1–16. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.ss6609a1

2. Langlois JA, Rutland-Brown W, Thomas KE. Traumatic brain injury in the United States: emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2006.

3. Cifu, David, MD. eMedicine.com. www.emedicine.com/sports/TOPIC113.HTM.

Comments (65)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

My daughter suffers from a TBI...in Oct. 2010 she had a motorcycle wreck that left her with a sheared brain stem, frontal lobe, occipital lobe, cerebellum and small stroke in right hemisphere...needless to say the Dr.s never thought she would make it 8 hours...prayer, FAITH, hope, love and HARD work has shocked and awed many!! We are 9 months out and she can now walk holding my hand...the periphal vision they said she would never get back has improved drastically...her "10 second Tom" memory has now improved to a 12 hour memory! My advice is pray and have faith that what you ask for God will handle...the rehab centers we have been to told me I was going to have to except this was all she was going to be able to do...I didn't except it. She has also been visiting a Maximized Living Chiropractor who has been AMAZING!! Since these visits her balance is INCREDIBLE! Never give up HOPE! Our God is bigger than our problems! .
To the one who wrote on April 3, 2010. I am 31 and have epilepsy. I have had it since I was 8 years old. I have took medicine after medicine and still have seizures. I have also had brain surgeory which cleared most of my seizures up. My granny would say I would have them but she couldn't do anything about it. She would say my temperature was over 100, then I went for about 5 years and then started to have seizures from a medicine I was allergic to. I have had seizures ever since 1986. Doctors have changed my medicines about 4-5 times since was 8 years old. I have gone through school and still graduated with my class since all this happened. Even though I have graduated I am in this house just for people that are handicapped and have nerve problems. I feel that I could do something else and not feel retarted. I work with the seniors on two days of the week and the juniors 3 days. But I feel I have come quite a ways. The reason I say that, I graduated with the class I started with in 1982 even though I started to have seizures in 1986.
last year i was hit by a car and i had a very bad brain injery, but i am now back at school and i am almost back to my old self i am a very storng girl
Last month on july 29 I celebrated 19 years of recovery from a TBI to the front of my brain.Even now I have brand new problems that appear that were never there before.The most fun is the harassment I've recieved constantly from co-workers and management at my job.The wonderful United States Postal Service.I Guess no one ever explained respect and courtesy to them.
I had a TBI at the age of four. I thought it was done and over with. Wrong! It is now, thirty-nine years later. I now have epilepsy, in my twenties, I started getting numbness in my right extremities, along with a great deal of weakness. Now my right leg turns in and I have to walk sideways down the stairs. My reflexes are very abnormal. I have encephalomalacia on the right side of my brain due to my head injury. By all medical accounts I should not have survived the fall. I had thirteen skull fractures according to my medical record and had to have burr holes drilled to relieve the pressure and because of internal bleeding. I have a very difficult time with memory and learning new things. It has been that way all of my life, that I can remember. I never did remember my mother or anyone in my family, I just was told they are my family. I also have a hard time with aphasia. But I know if it had not been for God,I would not be here today, he is the one who decided it was not my time. I accept things the way they are, at leas I live to fight another battle! Yes, I have depression, anxiety and do see a psychiatrist also. But I also know that having pity upon yourself is a waste of time ad energy. Just remember that you are alive and do not feel sorry for yourself, everyone has challenges and we all have more in this life, but we are alive and not deceased!
With emotions out of control, a TBI patient could have many run-ins with the law. Our son was lasered repeatedly, had to go to court, was fined and had to do community service. To this day, he only remembers being jumped by the plainsclothed police and fighting back as any soldier is trained to do. This is a real problem and it's imperative that some understanding of TBI be brought to light so our legal system and police do not judge these individuals as common criminals.

Stories such as yours are the reason that both the general public as well as authorities are educated on tbi. Yes, it often causes behavioural changes and yes, there may be alarming issues that pop up... But with the right medical team and a proactive attitude there is a lot of hope. My husband has had TBI for 35 years he has encephalomalacia and white matter disease it has been a battle but I put my faith in God. Learn everything you can and don't listen to pessimists.

is it possible that i have this after a bad motorbike accident in 1983 when my head was run over by an hgv although my consultant surgeon said no way!! I have to work all the time, i feel very depressed unless ni work, please let me know there is someone else out there !!
I am one of the 'deer in the headlights'. Emotional stress and/or at times the stress of daily life situations [including needed major renovations to our home and the mess we now have due to that] ... these things bring out the bi-polar depression, the memory problems, the speech [aphasia] problems, sometimes the physical problems [stroke-like symptoms of right-side weakness], etc.. Top that off with a recent dx of Generalized Inherited Early Sudden [Chronic] Onset Osteoarthritis [at age 53; now am 54]doesn't help matters either. Yes, I get through my daily life ... sometimes I have good days, sometimes they aren't the greatest. And sometimes I often wonder how I will get through a day. Add to that mix needing to find a second P/T job that I feel I could do on a daily basis [due to things becoming so expensive nowadays and not sure of getting from one pay to the next] without having a 'melt-down' either physically and/or mentally and you often wonder how to manage your day[s] without burning out from the TBI residue you now have to live with. Heaven help me too when I have anesthesia for even minor surgery! It takes months to get over the severe aphasia, etc.! I often wonder how people with major illnesses [ex: cancer] seem to get through them, yes with difficulties but still get through them, and it is so hard for me to get through a day. I feel guilty for feeling like I do when / getting to the point I do when there are those out there battling those worse things than what I have. Why is it so hard to deal with the problems of TBI when comparing it to cancer, etc.?
The tendency for as many as 80 to 90% of TBI survivors to believe they have fully recovered does not make it true. As the first comment asks, What is a "good recovery?" Many consider a good recovery to be an ability to return to the same activities as before the TBI/MTBI. What they fail to consider is the evidence that shows that even those who appear to have returned to the same state and functional abilities as before the TBI/MTBI, thorough testing will demonstrate that they have residual damage from the TBI/MTBI. Athletes are the best example of this. Many appear to recover fully only to begin noticing problems years after the injury. The least symptom of incomplete recovery is the sensitivity to a second injury, be it a very mild concussion or more serious injury. The more serious issue is the risk of cognitive or memory impairment during times of physiological stress and for some, even simple emotional stress. There is a sleeping monster lying in wait in the injured brains of TBI survivors. It can raise up and strike out at very inopportune moments, such as when there is a risk of imminent danger or a need to make a life critical decision on a moment's notice. Beware the 'deer in the headlights' as this monster strikes out.
I feel recovery is directly correlated to attitude. My husband had made a tremendous recovery from a TBI in 1992. He will never be "back to normal" however, he has an amazing attitude and quality of life. Endurance training (Long distance running, road biking and triathalons) have made a huge improvement in his processing and physical disabilities. I am so proud of how hard he has worked at getting a "good life" because most of us don't even try to improve our lives.
100% recovery may not be possible but we don't know if a person will get 65% of the way back or 99.9999% back. What's important is working hard and discovering all your post-TBI abilities. "Oh, my friend, it’s not what they [TBI] take away from you that counts. It’s what you do with what you have left." — Hubert Humphrey Dr. Mark / @gotbrain
What is the definition of "a good recovery from TBI"? Does that mean 100% or less then that. Is there a 100% recovery for TBI ?
this is a very good article I love number 9 and if you have a TBI you will definately recover in time,its hard work but you will recover. I know Im almost there