Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) is a misnomer when you consider that even a mild brain injury can have serious consequences for victims and their families. More than one million people suffer from MTBI in the U.S. each year. Over 30,000 under the age of 19 are permanently disabled. Common causes of MTBI are motor vehicle accidents, falls, physical assaults, work related accidents, and sports injuries such as football, soccer and hockey.
MTBI is the most common kind of brain injury and is often the result of a “closed head injury” from the brain hitting against or twisting inside the skull. MTBIs are commonly referred to as concussions. Many cases do not result in hospitalization and may not have long-term repercussions. On the other hand, someone may not know they suffer from MTBI until months after the incident that caused it.
Initial symptoms of MTBI may include:
- Altered consciousness, including dizziness or lack of consciousness
- Lack of awareness of one’s surroundings
Subsequent symptoms, also known as “Post Concussion Syndrome” sometimes appear in clusters and can last for days, weeks or longer. These may include:
- Chronic headache
- Personality changes
- Vision problems
- Slowed reaction time
- Problems with memory and math
- Intolerance of bright lights and loud noises
MTBI is frequently not diagnosed or misdiagnosed as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, learning disability, migraine, or seizure. This is in part because the symptoms are often delayed and appear and recede. But it is also difficult to detect. Unlike as with other kinds of brain injury, MTBI is not readily detected by MRIs, EEGs and CAT scans. MTBI can only accurately be detected by neuropsychological evaluations, SPECT scans, Q-EEGs or autopsies.
Educating the family of the victim as well as the victim with regard to the symptoms, treatment, and recovery may facilitate the recovery process. Recovery may be complicated, however, if the victim sustained repeated injuries or had a pre-existing psychological, psychiatric, neurological, or learning disorder. Fortunately, most children who have suffered an MTBI recover fully within six to nine months, and many recover within weeks.
If you or a loved one believes you may have a claim for a mild traumatic brain injury lawsuit please search our attorney directory a brain injury lawyer near you.