A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is any damage to the brain caused by either impact with or by an object or a sudden acceleration or deceleration in the cranium. The head injury may be either closed or penetrating.
The results from a TBI may be physical, cognitive, emotional, or behavioral and may be temporary, permanent, or fatal.
The classification of severity ranges from “mild,” causing a brief change of consciousness, to “severe,” characterized by extended unconsciousness or memory loss. Most TBIs are of the “mild” kind, typically called concussions.
The most common causes include falls, vehicle collisions, military action, and violence.
Symptoms may be immediate or may develop over days or weeks. They may include persistent and/or worsening headaches, dilated pupils, nausea or vomiting, convulsions or seizures, inability to awaken, speech impediment, and lack of sensation or strength in arms or legs.
People with severe injuries usually need physical, speech, recreational, occupational, and vision therapy.