Health

Speaking up to give voice to the severely disabled

The question of who speaks for patients with traumatic brain injuries when considering medical decisions is the subject of a commentary in the American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience by Marie-Christine Nizzi, a research ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Light therapy helps veterans treated for traumatic brain injury

A new study by researchers at the VA Portland Health Care System in Oregon found that augmenting traditional treatment for traumatic brain injury (TBI) with morning bright light therapy (MBLT) improved physical and mental ...

Neuroscience

TBI: A new roadmap for advancing personalized treatment solutions

Brain research and advocacy nonprofit Cohen Veterans Bioscience (CVB) today announced the launch of a National TBI Precision Solutions Research Roadmap, with the advent of the first in a series of publications resulting from ...

Medical research

New criteria aid diagnosis of traumatic encephalopathy syndrome

With the support of experts from the Uniformed Services University, diagnostic criteria have been developed for traumatic encephalopathy syndrome (TES), the clinical disorder associated with neuropathologically diagnosed ...

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Traumatic brain injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI, also called intracranial injury) occurs when an outside force traumatically injures the brain. TBI can be classified based on severity, mechanism (closed or penetrating head injury), or other features (e.g. occurring in a specific location or over a widespread area). Head injury usually refers to TBI, but is a broader category because it can involve damage to structures other than the brain, such as the scalp and skull.

TBI is a major cause of death and disability worldwide, especially in children and young adults. Causes include falls, vehicle accidents, and violence. Prevention measures include use of technology to protect those who are in accidents, such as seat belts and sports or motorcycle helmets, as well as efforts to reduce the number of accidents, such as safety education programs and enforcement of traffic laws.

Brain trauma can be caused by a direct impact or by acceleration alone. In addition to the damage caused at the moment of injury, brain trauma causes secondary injury, a variety of events that take place in the minutes and days following the injury. These processes, which include alterations in cerebral blood flow and the pressure within the skull, contribute substantially to the damage from the initial injury.

TBI can cause a host of physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral effects, and outcome can range from complete recovery to permanent disability or death. The 20th century has seen critical developments in diagnosis and treatment which have decreased death rates and improved outcome. These include imaging techniques such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Depending on the injury, treatment required may be minimal or may include interventions such as medications and emergency surgery. Physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy may be employed for rehabilitation.

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