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What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is generally a term used to describe a brain or head injury, or concussion. TBI occurs when something causes the brain to be injured, for example, a violent blow or a jolt to the head. A brain injury is different from a broken arm, fractured rib or other type of injury because the brain is a very important part of life.

The brain can affect a person’s personality, speech or other body functions. It does not heal like other injuries and might not heal for days or weeks after the injury. Sometimes the person who has been injured doesn’t realize they have a brain injury.

Q: What is the difference between a mild traumatic brain injury and a traumatic brain injury?

A mild traumatic brain injury would be a loss of consciousness, confusion, headache, and disorientation. Those symptoms would be the result of a concussion. A mild traumatic brain injury might be missed as the main injury, but friends and family might notice the changes in behavior after the injury.

A traumatic brain injury would be a loss of consciousness for 20 minutes or longer. Sometimes, the individual can speak, but can’t understand what other people are saying, which is called perceptive aphasia. Then there could also be slurred speech, problems with perception, reading, and problems with vision or hearing.

Q: What is the difference between a mild traumatic brain injury and a concussion?

A concussion is a form of a traumatic brain injury. Generally, the brain is surrounded by fluid, and during impact, the brain is actually pushed against the side of the skull.

It can be bruised, and swelling can occur. It can impair the brain function itself, and then it can contribute to certain things like loss of consciousness. It also causes the inability for some of the nerve signals to interact with the brain cells and normal bodily functions.