Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a medical condition that can affect one’s physical, neurological, and/ or emotional functioning and occurs because of experiencing a jolt or blow to one’s head. A concussion is often referred to by medical professionals as a mild traumatic brain injury (mild TBI). A specialized committee that falls under the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) developed the following definition: a patient with mild traumatic brain injury is a person who has had a traumatically induced physiological disruption of brain function, as manifested by at least one of the following:
- Any period of loss of consciousness;
- Any loss of memory for events immediately before or after the accident;
- Any alteration in mental state at the time of the accident (e.g., feeling dazed, disoriented, or confused); and
- Focal neurological deficit(s) that may or may not be transient; but that the severity of the injury does not exceed the following:
- Loss of consciousness of approximately 30 minutes or less;
- After 30 minutes, an initial Glasgow Coma Scale (GCD) of 12-15;
- Posttraumatic amnesia (PTA) not greater than 24 hours.
It is important to note that not all hits to the head inevitably result in a severe TBI. The terms mild TBI and concussion are synonymous and can be used interchangeably.
Symptoms of a Concussion
The symptoms that present will directly correlate to the severity of one’s traumatic brain injury. The severity of a TBI is dependent upon several factors (e.g., force of the impact, nature of the injury, etc.). There are various common events that could cause a mild TBI, such as sports injuries, violence, falls, explosive blasts, vehicle-related collisions, and other combat injuries. Symptoms that could present with a concussion may include, but are not limited to any combination of the following examples, provided by the Mayfield Brain & Spine Clinic:
- Feelings of fatigue and/ or exhaustion
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Memory impairment (e.g., trouble remembering new information)
- Trouble with concentration, thinking and/ or attention
- Sensitivity to light and/ or sounds
- Blurred vision
- Behavior and/ or mood changes
According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), about seventy-five percent of TBIs that occur each year are classified as mild TBIs.
For Information and Support
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