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Mild brain injuries can cause serious problems

Traumatic brain injuries are more common in the United States than some people may think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, brain injuries are involved in approximately 30 percent of injury deaths in the country. Not all brain injuries lead to death, however. A number of mild brain injuries can cause significant problems and impairment. Yet many people are not aware that these problems stem from an actual brain injury, as mild brain trauma was previously hard to detect using traditional brain scans. Once diagnosed, people who suffer from mild brain injuries may be able to improve their condition through rehabilitation and different forms of therapy.

The human brain is freely suspended in a fluid that protects it from damage. Brain injuries occur when a sudden jolt to the head causes the brain to smash into the skull bone or when the brain is pierced by a foreign object. The degree of brain injury depends on the force of impact, as well as the area of the brain that is damaged. Some people may walk away from an accident not knowing that they have a mild brain injury, but they may exhibit symptoms of mild brain injury. These include the following:

  • Persistent headaches that may increase in intensity.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Tingling in the extremities.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Mild memory loss, disorientation or confusion.

In a study published in Neurology, researchers found that some people who had mild brain injuries continued to have damage in the white matter of the brain in a 12-month follow-up visit. Other cases had improved significantly.

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