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Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2010 Aug;28(3):571-94. doi: 10.1016/j.emc.2010.03.003.

Traumatic alterations in consciousness: traumatic brain injury.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Center for Neural Development and Disease, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 645, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) refers to the clinical condition of transient alteration of consciousness as a result of traumatic injury to the brain. The priority of emergency care is to identify and facilitate the treatment of rare but potentially life-threatening intracranial injuries associated with mTBI through the judicious application of appropriate imaging studies and neurosurgical consultation. Although post-mTBI symptoms quickly and completely resolve in the vast majority of cases, a significant number of patients will complain of lasting problems that may cause significant disability. Simple and early interventions such as patient education and appropriate referral can reduce the likelihood of chronic symptoms. Although definitive evidence is lacking, mTBI is likely to be related to significant long-term sequelae such as Alzheimer disease and other neurodegenerative processes.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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