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What Everybody Ought to Know about Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries

What Everyone Ought to Know About Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries

You were recently in a car accident and your doctor diagnosed you with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). You wonder how something can both be mild and traumatic at the same time. What is a mild traumatic brain injury? Is it serious? Or not so much? These questions could on your mind if you ever experience a mild TBI.

Definition of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

mcdivitt-mild-traumatic-brain-injuryAccording to the Brain Injury Association of American, a mild brain injury does not describe the level of severity of the brain injury, but the severity of the incident that caused the injury. The CDC has provided a conceptual definition of mild traumatic brain injury. Mild traumatic brain injury occurs when the head is injured due to blunt trauma, and during a surveillance period a person has specified symptoms, including:

  • Confusion, disorientation, or impaired consciousness;
  • Amnesia;
  • Loss of consciousness lasting 30 minutes or less, and/or
  • Other neurological or neuropsychological dysfunctions.

Symptoms of a Mild Brain Injury

According to Brain Injury Association of American the following are symptoms of a mild brain injury:

Early Symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Lack of awareness of surroundings
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Later Symptoms:

  • Persistent low grade headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Poor attention and concentration
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Intolerance of bright light
  • Difficulty focusing vision
  • Intolerance of loud noises
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Anxiety and depressed mood
  • Irritability

If you suspect you have a TBI contact a health professional immediately to help diagnosis and treat your injury.

A very problematic symptom that at first glance would seem less troubling is excessive fatigue. A publication from the International Brain Injury Association, states that 32-73% of those with a brain injury report experiencing fatigue on some scale.   Often, symptoms of fatigue resolve within a couple of days or weeks. However, fatigue can continue for many years following an injury. Fatigue can negatively impact your life, including your work life and leisure time.

How to Diagnosis a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Common brain scans (CT scan or MRI) often show no evidence of a mild brain injury. Mild brain injuries often damage the “white matter” of the brain. According to the DANA Foundation, white matter is a “vast, intertwining system of neural connections that join all four lobes of the brain (frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital), and the brain’s emotion center…” According to the Brain Injury Association of America, it is harder to “capture or visualize” injuries to white matter.

However, there are newer types of imaging technologies that may be more effective in capturing damage to the white matter. Of course, newer medical technologies are often more costly. Some of the newer imaging techniques include:

  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
  • Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography (SPECT)
  • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)
  • Diffuse Tensor Imaging (DTI).

What can you do?

If you have been in a car accident or other accident that impacted your brain, see a doctor immediately. If you have been diagnosed with mild TBI due to an auto accident and need legal help, contact McDivitt Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.


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