Every brain injury is unique. Its effects differ depending on the cause of the injury, its severity, and the location in the brain affected. Ultimately, normal brain function is altered with the potential to impact lives physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Brain Injuries can include:
- Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Non-traumatic Brain Injury
Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)
The most common type of traumatic brain injury, a concussion or mTBI is often associated with a jolt to the head or a whiplash injury. Although classified as mild if loss of consciousness or disorientation is less than 30 minutes, other symptoms can persist for a year or more, such as confusion, dizziness, nausea, headaches, fatigue, and sleep disturbances.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Damage to the brain caused by an outside force is referred to as a traumatic brain injury, such as a blow to the head. While a concussion is a minor form of TBI, more severe brain injuries last longer and can be permanent. Symptoms can include extended periods of unconsciousness, persistent confusion, persistent headaches, memory loss, and long-term behavioral impairment.
Non-traumatic Brain Injury (NTBI)
A non-traumatic brain injury is the result of a condition or disease in the body occurring after birth. Stroke is the most common of these. Other causes include cancer, infection, lack of oxygen, drug overdose, tumors, toxic exposure, and seizures. The symptoms, much like a TBI, are varied according to cause, severity, and the location in the brain affected.
While stroke is a specific type of non-traumatic brain injury, it warrants its own mention because it is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. A stroke is caused by a blockage or rupture of an artery that carries blood to the brain. Then the part of the brain affected starts to die since it does not get the blood it needs. Symptoms such as face drooping, arm weakness, or slurred speech can appear quickly. Other symptoms that can come on suddenly include severe headache, numbness, especially on one side of the body, dizziness, confusion, and difficulty seeing.