Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, and the effects of such an injury on its victims, has made headlines in recent years. TBI refers to any injury to the brain caused by a blow, jolt or other impact to the head. Upon such impact, the brain collides with the skull, sometimes causing temporary or permanent injury. Consequences of TBIs range from concussions, a common result, to bleeding, bruising and other physical injury to the brain. Repeated injury can cause brain cells to cease functioning properly, resulting in cognitive decline. Thousands of veterans have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan after sustaining TBIs and a group of retired professional football players recently filed a lawsuit against the National Football League over the long-term degenerative effects of repeated head injuries sustained on the field.
The effects of brain injuries on a person's health and well being vary significantly and are just beginning to be understood. In some cases, the consequences are readily apparent: dizziness, concussion, unconsciousness or amnesia. In the medium or long term, certain cognitive effects may become apparent, including changes to memory and reasoning skills, language, sensations, and emotion. TBI victims may have difficulty focusing on simple tasks, remembering names or verbally communicating.
In addition, TBIs sometimes have an adverse impact on executive functions, which are essential for processing information and thinking creatively. Personality and mood changes may also become apparent.
TBIs may impact the motor areas of the brain, causing victims to experience some degree of physical paralysis or inflexibility. The physical damage of TBIs can lead to chronic pain, including severe headaches.
TBIs also increase the long-term risk for epilepsy, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other brain disorders. Multiple TBIs, sustained by some athletes, may aggravate existing TBI injuries and increase the risk of cognitive problems later in life.
While the individual effects of TBIs can be difficult to predict, it is clear that traumatic brain injuries can have a devastating impact on the life and mind of victims and family members. If a TBI is caused by the negligent actions of another person or a business, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about seeking compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.