Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a serious public health problem in the United States. A TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. It can also be caused by a penetrating wound that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild” (a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after following the injury). The majority of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild TBI.
Each year, TBIs contribute to a substantial number of deaths and cases of permanent disability. Recent data, obtained by the Centers for Disease Control shows that:
"On average, approximately 2.8 million people sustain a TBI annually"
The leading causes of TBI are:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sports-related injuries
- Combat wounds
A brain injury may also be acquired. Common causes of an acquired TBI are:
What to expect
Common physical changes after brain injury may include headaches, seizure, coordination difficulties, and fatigue. Cognitive challenges may include:
- Short-term memory loss
- Long-term memory loss
- Slow ability to process information
- Poor judgment
- Short attention span
Emotional changes may include:
- Mood swings
Communication challenges may include:
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty reading and understanding written and spoken words
- Word finding
- Staying on topic
- As well as poor listening habits.
Brain Injury Prevention: The Only Antidote
The effects of a brain injury are often disabling and last a lifetime. Unfortunately, unlike other injuries such as broken bones or minor cuts, a brain injury cannot heal. Prevention is the only antidote.
- Preventing falls in children and older adults
- Staying safe on the road
- Preventing sports-related injuries
Click here to learn more about brain injury prevention.