Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI)

What is Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI)?

Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) is commonly known as concussion. A universally accepted definition is lacking.

Mild traumatic brain injury and concussion are classified by:

- transient loss of consciousness
- amnesia
- altered mental status
- a Glasgow Coma Score of 13 to 15
- focal neurological deficits following an acute closed head injury

"Red flag' symptoms include: progression of physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms, seizure, progressive vomiting, and altered mental status.

What is the prognosis of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI)?

Most patients recover quickly, within 1-2 weeks.

However, persistent symptoms may be noted in 5-20% of persons who have mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI):

- Physical symptoms include headaches, dizziness, and nausea, and changes in coordination, balance, appetite, sleep, vision, and hearing.

- Cognitive and behavioral symptoms include fatigue, anxiety, depression, and irritability, and problems with memory, concentration and decision making.

Who is at greatest risk after a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI)?

Women, older adults, less educated persons, and those with a previous mental health diagnosis are more likely to have persistent symptoms.

Protecting the brain from concussion: $20-helmet is a good way to protect $100,000 education

Neuropsychologist Kim Gorgens makes the case for better protecting our brains against the risk of concussion -- with a compelling pitch for putting helmets on kids: A $20-helmet is a good way to protect $100,000 education. "Mind your (brain) matter."

Subacute to chronic mild traumatic brain injury. Mott TF, McConnon ML, Rieger BP. Am Fam Physician. 2012 Dec 1;86(11):1045-51.
Image source: Hippocampus, from Wikipedia, public domain.

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