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Concussion (Traumatic Brain Injury)

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a sudden injury from an external force that affects the functioning of the brain. It can be caused by a bump or blow to the head (closed head injury) or by an object penetrating the skull (called a penetrating injury).

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)

About Traumatic Brain Injuries

The most common form of TBI is concussion. A concussion can happen when the head or body is moved back and forth quickly, such as during a motor vehicle accident or sports injury.

Concussions are often called "mild TBI" because they are usually not life-threatening. However, they still can cause serious problems, and research suggests that repeated concussions can be particularly dangerous.

A person who has a TBI may have some of the same symptoms as a person who has a non-traumatic brain injury. Unlike TBI, this type of injury is not caused by an external force, but is caused by an internal problem, such as a stroke or infection.

Both types of injury can have serious, long-term effects on a person's cognition and functioning...Read more about Traumatic Brain Injury NIH - National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Complications of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Veterans and Military Personnel: A Systematic Review [Internet]

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common condition, especially among military members. Twelve to 23 percent of service members returning from Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) experienced a TBI while deployed. Although various criteria are used to define TBI severity, the majority of documented TBI events among OEF/OIF/OND service members may be classified as mild in severity, or mTBI, according to the definition used by the Veterans Health Administration and Department of Defense (VA/DoD).

The Assessment and Treatment of Individuals with History of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Systematic Review of the Evidence [Internet]

United States (U.S.) Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) healthcare facilities are increasingly serving a large population of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans who have sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI), suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or have both a history of TBI and current PTSD (TBI/PTSD). Mild TBI (mTBI) is considered the most common form of TBI. Uncertainty exists regarding the long-term health outcomes of mTBI as well as the validity of criteria used to assess for a history of this injury. Symptoms that may be attributable to mTBI are similar to symptoms of PTSD. It is unknown whether findings from civilian populations with both a history of mTBI and PTSD (mTBI/PTSD) are applicable to individuals with combat-related mTBI/PTSD. Current evidence-based practices to screen, diagnose, prospectively evaluate, and treat mTBI symptoms or PTSD may be less accurate or effective if and when these conditions co-occur. Thus, there is a need to develop an evidence base to identify best practices to define, diagnose, evaluate, and manage patients with mTBI/PTSD, particularly in U.S. veterans of OEF/OIF.

Visual Dysfunction in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Review [Internet]

In 2009, approximately 3.5 million people sought treatment related to a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States (U.S.), just over 1% of the U.S. population. Researchers estimate that approximately 15% of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) U.S. Service Members have incurred TBI during deployment. This equates to 390,000 of the 2.6 million Service Members who have deployed as of 2014. Given that intact visual functioning depends on portions of the brain interacting in complex ways, there are multiple potential mechanisms through which TBI can result in visual dysfunction. To provide relevant data for policymakers, optometrists, ophthalmologists, rehabilitation specialists, and others who provide services for Veterans with TBI history, we conducted a systematic review of the prevalence and types of visual dysfunction in individuals with a history of TBI.

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More about Concussion

Photo of a young adult

Also called: Head injury, TBI

See Also: Post-Concussion Syndrome

Related articles:
How the Brain Works
Depression After Brain Injury

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