There is a lot of research available regarding Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, that indicates a very strong connection between even the “mildest” form of head injury and diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. What that means is, any accident that causes any level of brain injury has the potential to leave behind a lot more damage than the victim initially thought, even for young children. In many cases, someone who seems to have recovered from even the mildest TBI is not necessarily “cured.”
The Danger of Even a Minor TBI
Regardless of how a person incurs a TBI, whether it’s due to an auto or truck accident, a workplace accident, a slip and fall or even an explosion at an oil and gas or other facility, TBI is a physical injury that often can become a long-term progressive disease and lead to a number of serious hardships in the victim’s future. In fact, TBI is quite often called an “invisible epidemic,” in part because so many TBI survivors seem “normal,” meaning they appear to look, speak and act no differently than any other person.
Too often, however, according to researchers, the brain is actually undergoing some very complex changes; changes that can affect personality, thought processes, behavior and other, more general, aspects of overall health. It is also important to note that the symptoms of brain injury can change over time. For some people, the complications brought on by the brain injury can get worse, rather than better.
What’s worse is, studies have found that the symptoms of TBI often mask themselves, so they appear like emotional and behavioral problems. There is no “one-size-fits-all” set of symptoms. Different people who suffer a TBI demonstrate different symptoms at first, but more importantly, symptoms often change during the recovery process and even after. In some cases, victims of TBI will show symptoms immediately, while others may show up later, leading to an accident victim not realizing they have suffered a TBI.
The one thing accident victims should know, however, is that all traumatic brain injuries must be treated. Therefore, if you hit your head after a crash, or in a workplace accident, or even in a slip and fall, it is necessary to head straight to the emergency room or an urgent care or trauma center immediately. There is no such thing as “just getting your bell rung;” even the most minor concussion can turn into something more serious if left untreated.
How to Recognize Signs and Symptoms of TBI
Among the most common symptoms of TBI include the following (and these can be recognized by people other than the TBI victim):
• Loss of consciousness, even if it is very temporary;
• Blurred vision;
• Memory lapses, including an inability to remember routine things;
• Changes in mood or personality;
• Confusion or disorientation.
The most common symptom of a mild TBI is the temporary loss of consciousness, even if it only lasts a moment or two. Any loss of consciousness is a key factor in determining the extent of a brain injury. If a TBI victim is out for more than a minute or two, the TBI is potentially very serious, and if the loss of consciousness lasts 30 minutes or more, ER doctors will always take special precautions to protect the brain from further injury and they will always run tests, including a CT scan, out of an abundance of caution.
Get Help for ANY Traumatic Brain Injury
Anyone who has been in an accident of any type in which they hit their head, it is a really good idea to proceed with the same “abundance of caution” as. your doctors will and have their head checked out by a qualified physician. Further, if anyone is diagnosed with even a mild concussion, it is important to constantly monitor the situation, according to your doctor’s instructions.
Taking proper care of a TBI now and in the future can save not only the victim’s life now, but it could also improve the quality of their life in the future. Ask researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, who found that the neurodegeneration usually associated with Alzheimer’s may be initiated or accelerated by even a single traumatic brain injury, even if it happens to teens and young adults. Neurodegeneration is defined as “the progressive loss of structure or function of neurons,” and it is almost always cited as the cause of such diseases as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. These researchers established a clear link between TBI and these diseases which occur much later in life.
That is why, from both a health and a legal standpoint, if you have hit your head in any kind of accident, it is important to see a doctor immediately and get a diagnosis and to keep monitoring your condition under a doctor’s supervision. If you are dealing with an insurance company of any kind, this is another reason to hire an attorney to help out. You may appear “normal” to an insurance adjuster or even a jury, which means you need someone on your side to explain the degenerative capabilities of a traumatic brain injury in a way that is authoritative and convincing.