Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion

TBI; Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion

Traumatic brain injury, (TBI), also sometimes indicated as mild traumatic brain injury, (MTBI) or simply referred to as various degrees of concussion, or post concussive syndrome has become a focus of attention in recent years with ever increasing understanding of brain function. TBI, or concussion is traumatically induced, and traumatic brain injury symptoms include alteration in mental status.  This may or may not be associated with loss of consciousness and is invariably associated with symptoms including dizziness, vertigo, headache, confusion, brain fog and difficulty concentrating. Manifestations of TBI or concussion present as head injury symptoms, traumatically induced physiologic disruption in brain function.  Manifestations may or may not include loss of consciousness, coma, cognitive loss, memory loss, (amnesia), alteration of mental state or personality, or focal neurologic deficits. Concussions may cause temporary impairment of neurologic function, lasting impairment, coma and death.

Automobile accidents, and contact sports are among the most common causes of concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Treatment of patients with Traumatic Brain Injury, (TBI) or concussion can vary widely.  Whereas many conditions resolve spontaneously with time, others require extensive intervention ranging from rehabilitation to complicated neurosurgical procedures.  Brain injury programs at our office are largely dependent on symptoms of brain injury and clinical examination findings.

The signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can be marked or subtle. Symptoms of TBI may not appear until days, weeks, or even months following the injury or may even be missed entirely.  Individuals with TBI may look fine even though they may act or feel differently than they did prior to their injury.  The following are some common signs and symptoms of TBI:

  • Blurred vision, double vision, or eye fatigue, (eyes that tire easily)
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Tinnitus, (ringing in the ears)
  • Headaches and/ or chronic neck pain
  • Difficulty remembering, concentrating, or decision making
  • Difficulty or inability to read
  • Slowness in thinking, speaking, acting, or reading
  • Getting lost or easily confused
  • Feeling tired all of the time, having no energy or motivation
  • Mood changes, (feeling sad or angry for no reason)
  • Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping a lot more or having a hard time sleeping)
  • Light-headedness, dizziness, or imbalance, (dysequilibrium)
  • Nausea or vomitus
  • Increased sensitivity to lights and/or sounds

Children with a brain injury can have the same symptoms as adults, but it is often harder for them to let others know how they feel. In addition to the above, the following symptoms should be observed in children:

  • Tiredness or listlessness
  • Irritability or crankiness (will not stop crying or cannot be consoled)
  • Changes in eating (will not eat or nurse)
  • Changes in the way the child plays
  • Changes in performance at school
  • Lack of interest in favorite toys or activities
  • Loss of newly learned skills, such as toilet training

Dr. Scopelliti is postdoctoral fellowship trained in Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion. Prior to undertaking any treatment for TBI, an extremely thorough and comprehensive series of neurologic examinations are performed so that the most exacting treatment plan can be formulated. In not doing so it is exceedingly common for treatment plans to exceed to the patients cognitive abilities, thus guaranteeing failure.

If you think you or someone you know has a traumatic brain injury, contact our office immediately.

Please reference Vertigo and Treatment for information on how our office manages patients with TBI.

Dr. Scopelliti is a Functional Neurologist in Monmouth County NJ.