Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

  1. Definition

    Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (MTBIs) frequently occur where there has been a forceful blow to the head or a loss of consciousness, although that is not always the case. A mild traumatic brain injury can occur even where there is no contact to the head. An example of this is the sudden acceleration-deceleration forces that occur in a motor vehicle accident, the whiplash effect.

    Mild traumatic brain injury may cause temporary dysfunction of brain cells. More serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain that can result in long-tern complications or death.

  2. Symptoms and Treatment

    Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries can have a large variety of symptoms. Immediately following a traumatic even such as a motor vehicle accident or a sports injury, symptoms will generally include a headache. There may also be a loss of consciousness, nausea or vomiting, confusion or feeling “out of it”, memory loss of the period immediately preceding the incident, slurred speech, or fatigue.

    In the hours or days following the incident, some symptoms may continue and others may arise. These include headaches, light or noise sensitivity, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, balance issues or clumsiness, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. Some people may experience mental health changes; for example, some people may become depressed after a mild traumatic brain injury. This may occur as a result of changes to the brain caused by the injury, or as a result of difficulty adjusting to any persistent physical symptoms.

    Head trauma injuries should be evaluated by a doctor to ensure there are no potentially life-threatening issues, such as bleeding or swelling in the brain. While these are rare in cases of mild head trauma, doctors may still order CT scans to check for these issues, depending on the symptoms displayed by the patient and the mode of injury.

    The first stage of recovery from a mild traumatic brain injury is complete cognitive and physical rest. After this, patients can often gradually increase their physical and cognitive activities until they are at a normal level again.

  3. What we can do to help

    We can arrange for you to see a neurologist for a complete assessment. With the relationships we have built with our specialists, this appointment can usually be made much faster then a referral through your family doctor. Following the assessment, we will ensure that any recommendations made by the neurologist are attended to. For example, if any further diagnostics or treatment are required, we will follow up to make sure you see the care providers you need.

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