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What Is Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has been called a silent epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). What is mTBI, and why is knowing about it important?

According to the CDC, approximately 1.7 people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. About 75 percent of those injuries are classified as a mild traumatic brain injury. Despite the term, no brain injury is mild, and the reference is to the invisibility of structural damage to the brain, even as functions like memory or emotional stability are affected.

In a recent article, physicians at Albany Medical Center discussed the importance of associating mTBI with muscle and bone injuries treated by orthopedic surgeons. Because physicians treat injuries from vehicle accidents and other types of accidents, they are well-positioned to evaluate the possibility of mTBI.

Points about mTBI include:

  • Unevaluated mTBI is widespread and can have long-term physical, economic and financial consequences.
  • While a patient may associate headaches, fatigue, and lack of concentration or loss of memory to the aftereffect of an accident, these are symptoms of mTBI and should be assessed.
  • Sub-concussive trauma does not image well, and hard evidence of the presence of the injury is difficult to prove without appropriate neurological evaluation.
  • Residual effects of an mTBI can last months or years.

Any injury to the brain is serious. Force hard enough to break a bone is enough to shake the brain within the skull. After a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident, a fall, or any accident, speak with your physician about cognitive symptoms you experience and with a reputable attorney about compensation for injury caused by the negligence of others.

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