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Minor traumatic brain injuries can cause major problems

As of late, brain injuries have been getting a lot of attention in the press. This is in large part due to the lawsuit many former professional athletes filed against the National Football League, alleging the it was aware of the dangers associated with these type of injuries but did not communicate this information to the players. While traumatic brain injuries and concussions are often discussed, little is heard about minor traumatic brain injuries. Despite the term “minor” being a part of the diagnosis, the result of suffering such an injury may be anything but minor. 

An mTBI is defined as a head injury that leads to a change in consciousness, confusion or impairments with one’s behavior or perception. These changes are temporary. Approximately three fourths of the 1.4 million TBIs suffered each year are considered to be minor. The difficulty with them results in a delay in the appearance of the symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Problems with memory
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired cognition
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

While most of these individuals recover from the injuries without a problem, in some cases the symptoms may continue on for over 12 months. Because of this, as well as the delayed onset, mTBI is sometimes called a silent epidemic.

As is the case with any brain injury, there are a variety of situations in which someone might suffer a mTBI. This month’s Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS), indicates that car accidents are the leading cause for these types of injuries. When a brain injury of any kind is suffered as the result of a car accident that is the result of another person’s negligence, it is possible that the victim may decide to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: Medical Xpress, “A silent epidemic: Minor traumatic brain injury,” Oct. 2013 

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