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What Is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?


As common as concussion injuries are, it is important to remember that these are a form of traumatic brain injury — mild traumatic brain injury to be precise. In terms of what a concussion or MTBI is, though, there are a couple of different medical definitions of the condition. This article will discuss those definitions and other general information about the treatment of concussion injuries.

One generally-accepted definition of concussion simply defines the condition as an alteration of mental status induced by trauma. Another broader definition refers to a concussion as a trauma-caused physiological disruption of brain function that exhibits the following possible symptoms: loss of consciousness, alteration of personality or mental state, memory loss or focal neurologic deficits.

Mild traumatic brain injury concussion injuries are particularly common in athletes. Following a concussion, the athlete might appear confused or have a blank expression. Emotional changes and delayed responses to simple questions could also be evident. Signs of MTBI also include dizziness, pain, amnesia, visual disturbances, and persistent vomiting.

Mental and physical rest is the most important part of treating concussions. Neuropsychological testing is also important to ensure that the brain is properly healing. Fortunately, in the majority of MTBI cases, patients recover after 48 or 72 hours. Persistent headaches usually disappear after two to four weeks. However, in some cases, an original diagnosis of MTBI could be elevated to a more severe condition and symptoms could persist for years or victims might never fully recover.

California residents who have suffered a concussion, even if it is mild, could incur high medical costs relating to their treatment. In cases where a concussion or brain injury was caused by another person or party’s negligence, people with MTBI may have the ability to pursue compensation for those costs in court by holding the negligent party liable.

Source: Medscape, “Concusssion,” accessed Oct. 07, 2015