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Government Resources: Health, Disability, Safety, Nutrition and Fitness: Brain Anatomy, Trauma and Disease

Brain Anatomy, Trauma, Disease and Development Key Web Links

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI), a form of acquired brain injury, occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. TBI can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.  Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain.   A person with a mild TBI may remain conscious or may experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes. Other symptoms of mild TBI include headache, confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision or tired eyes, ringing in the ears, bad taste in the mouth, fatigue or lethargy, a change in sleep patterns, behavioral or mood changes, and trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking.  A person with a moderate or severe TBI may show these same symptoms, but may also have a headache that gets worse or does not go away, repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, an inability to awaken from sleep, dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in the extremities, loss of coordination, and increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation. Source:  NINDS Traumatic Brain Injury Information Page

Concussion

A concussion is a type of brain injury. It's the most minor form. Technically, a concussion is a short loss of normal brain function in response to a head injury. But people often use it to describe any minor injury to the head or brain.

 Concussions are a common type of sports injury. You can also have one if you suffer a blow to the head or hit your head after a fall.

 Symptoms of a concussion may not start right away; they may start days or weeks after the injury. Symptoms may include a headache or neck pain. You may also have nausea, ringing in your ears, dizziness, or tiredness. You may feel dazed or not your normal self for several days or weeks after the injury. Consult your health care professional if any of your symptoms get worse, or if you have more serious symptoms such as

 •Seizures

 •Trouble walking or sleeping

 •Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination

 •Repeated vomiting or nausea

 •Confusion

 •Slurred speech

 Doctors use a neurologic exam and imaging tests to diagnose a concussion. Most people recover fully after a concussion, but it can take some time. Rest is very important after a concussion because it helps the brain to heal. Source: MedlinePlus

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