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

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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 (58)

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.

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

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