Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries

A mild traumatic brain injury is defined in medicine as a brain injury that causes a person to lose consciousness for less than 30 minutes. This definition is really a misnomer because an individual may suffer a severe, permanent and debilitating brain injury, yet not lose consciousness for more than 30 minutes. In fact, some individuals may suffer permanent brain damage and not lose consciousness at all. Today more than ever, healthcare providers, through advances in technology are discovering brain injuries which could not be previously detected. This in large part is due to the bigger and stronger magnets contained in modern MRI machines. Currently, magnets with a TESLA 3.0 are commonly available to image the brain. This stronger imaging, combined with a 3D modeling technique called tractography, which utilizes data collected by diffusion tensor imaging of the MRI, can demonstrate the shearing and scarring (gliosis) caused by brain trauma.

It is also accepted in the medical literature that recurrent or repeated concussive blows to the head can have a cumulative detrimental effect. This has been seen with boxers, football players and other individuals who have suffered more than one blow to the head.

Mild traumatic brain injuries can be diagnosed through a combination of imaging, interviews with family members regarding behavioral changes and through neuropsychological testing. In addition to gliosis or scarring which can be demonstrated on an MRI, the neuroradiologist will also look for abnormal or advanced signs of brain atrophy where the brain tissues actually shrink because of the trauma which can lead to early dementia and other severe and permanent problems.

When a person sustains a TBI to the frontal lobe of their brain, it can cause a variety of problems, including substantial behavioral changes. Often family members notice dramatic changes in personality and behavior post accident and become valuable witnesses on these changes.

A neuropsychologist is trained to perform rigorous testing on the victim to determine their cognitive function, memory capacity and executive functioning of the brain after injury. These experts can also measure the loss in a person's IQ as a result of the injury.

Mild traumatic brain injuries are not what they seem. Often, these concussive type injuries can turn into life-long permanent problems. Experience in handling these claims is critical to the success.