Interesting Facts About Traumatic Brain Injury: Types of TBI
Without a doubt, sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most dreadful consequences one would have to endure after an accident. With symptoms varying from mild to severe brain damage, being diagnosed with TBI poses risks of a long-term or lifelong need to depend on medical care and even brain death.
But how do you know if you are suffering from a neurological injury?
Typically, head injuries arise from either a direct blow to the head, violent shaking, or a combination of the two. It could be from motor vehicle crashes, sports and recreation-related injuries, or similar events. Even though the degree of brain damage differs from one case to another, specific overlapping symptoms clearly show the manifestations of a traumatic brain injury, such as:
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- Cognitive deficits: memory problems, amnesia, reduced understanding, attention difficulties, attention span issues, problem-solving issues, impaired thinking skills, coma, etc.
- Motor deficits: poor balance, paralysis, muscle weakness, coordination problems, swallowing issues, tremors, seizure disorders, etc.
- Sensory issues: sensitivity to light, blurry vision, loss of sensation, over-sensation, hearing loss, ringing in the ears, etc.
- Language and communication problems: difficulty in speaking and writing, speech defects, identification issues, etc.
- Psychological instability: anxiety, depression, apathy, intimacy issues, temper flare-ups, aggressive behavior, feelings of social isolation, altered mental status, etc.
- Regulatory disturbances: headaches, dizziness, sleep disturbances, fatigue, etc.
The symptoms mentioned above can occur alongside each other or may persist alone. However, if you start to experience any of the symptoms, including headaches, lightheadedness, nausea, or intermittent loss of consciousness, you have to seek immediate medical attention.
Different types of TBI
While there is a vast pool of complications that can arise from a brain injury, there are basically two general categories of brain damage resulting from a traumatic injury: primary and secondary brain damage. It is helpful to distinguish between primary and secondary brain damage.
Primary Brain Damage
This type of brain injury occurs at the time of the accident and is the result of distinctive mechanical factors. Examples are contusions and diffuse axonal injury.
Transient distortion and bending inside the skull near the point of impact may result in a cerebral contusion. Contusions can also happen from a sudden “dislocation of the brain.” For example, when the head is thrust against or compressed by a portion of the skull, contusions occur. Coup contusion is located right under the impact area, whereas a contrecoup contusion is located at a distance from the point of impact.
Simply expressed, the contrecoup effect is a differential type of injury or can have multiple impacts in areas of the brain that are remote from the trauma. The force of influence combined with Newton’s laws of motion cause a “ricocheting” effect between the brain and the skull.
Since the brain is encased in the skull but sits in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), it has movement. Depending on the vectors of force involved, whether it was a strong or blunt trauma, damage could occur at various parts of the brain just from one point of impact.
Diffuse axonal injury to the white matter
The brain’s white matter is located approximately between the two masses of the gray matter of the cerebral hemispheres or telencephalon. It is composed primarily of conduction tissue. Through electrical and chemical activities, information is transmitted through white matter.
Diffuse axonal injury is explained by a shearing mechanism. In this case, it is produced by movement between different components of the brain itself. The forces required to generate this shearing causes strain in the human brain from rotational acceleration. Thus, movement of one part of the brain relative to another can damage the nerve fibers in the white matter, thereby affecting normal brain function.
Secondary Brain Damage
This type of brain injury often comes after primary brain damage. Secondary damage can result from brain swelling, which might cause hypoxia and/or ischemia.
Secondary brain damage is usually ultimately due to a reduction in the energy supplied to the brain. According to health care providers, tissue hypoxia, in its broadest sense, is the main factor that determines energy failure.
Secondary damage, which includes ischemia and/or hypoxia, is severe. In this situation, brain tissue is essentially denied oxygen and glucose, which results in an interruption of energy and disruption of function. If left without emergency care, it could lead to serious neurological injury and eventual brain death.
While primary brain damage is produced by mechanical forces operating at the moment of head impact, most types of head injuries evolve as a progressive cascade of delayed, secondary events and additional traumas from the initial injury. The degree and distribution of brain defects depend upon the interplay of primary and secondary damage and, more likely that not, will require surgery, long-term hospitalization, or total traumatic brain injury rehabilitation.
Therefore, it is extremely difficult to correlate sequelae of head injury with specific structural brain damage. The combination of the various factors modifies the original lesion. The outcome might be totally different, given identical starting points in different patients. Brain function tests and other neurological examinations will confirm the degree of damage.
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What to do if you think you sustained a TBI
After being involved in motor vehicle accidents or other potentially fatal incidents, it is always best to consult a medical professional immediately. It does not matter if you exhibit symptoms or not; some injuries have underlying effects that emerge much later and could harm you in the most devastating way possible, sometimes even leading to long-term brain disorders. Some cases that led to permanent disability or death were the result of seemingly minor symptoms that were ignored.
With that said, whether it seems like a common injury to you or a serious incident that involves physical suffering, seek medical attention to save your life. Your doctor will conduct brain function tests and monitor for any sing of post-traumatic stress disorder to
Alongside a Doctor, A Traumatic Brain Injury Needs the Attention of an Expert Personal Injury Attorney
If you or your loved one suffers a TBI from an incident where another party is at fault, you need to file a claim to receive proper compensation, as well as punitive damages. We, at Farahi Law Firm, APC, are experts in handling personal injury cases, including TBI. We will fight for your rights, and we will get you the full medical attention you need to recover from any incident.
It is our mission to help you. Let us assist you in getting the compensation you deserve for your TBI! Call us today at (310) 746-5301 for a FREE consultation about your case. Don’t worry about legal and medical costs. At Farahi Law, there are NO FEES UNTIL WE WIN.