What is considered mild traumatic brain injury?

Any period of loss of consciousness; 2. Any memory loss due to events immediately before or after the accident; 3. The terms mild, moderate, and severe are used to describe the effect of injury on brain function. A minor injury to the brain is still a serious injury that requires immediate attention and an accurate diagnosis. Although there are no solid statistics on what percentage of mild TBIs heal quickly and without lasting symptoms, the medical consensus is that any symptom of most mild TBIs usually improves in about a month. If symptoms persist after six months, they often disappear completely or improve greatly within a year after the injury.

In addition, most studies have shown that a single mild traumatic brain injury poses no cognitive or behavioral risk in the short or long term. Linear fractures are usually benign, but any skull fracture can be associated with underlying pathological findings, such as brain contusions, dural tears, and vascular trauma. Traumatic brain injury also results from penetrating injuries, severe blows to the head with shrapnel or debris, and falls or bodily collisions with objects following an explosion. Patients with MTBI should be admitted for observation if there is confusion, lethargy, a GCS score below 15, abnormal findings on CT scans of the brain, focal neurological signs, or a confusing clinical picture due to seizures or alcohol or drug poisoning.

Because the brain is protected in a shock-absorbing fluid and is surrounded by the skull, in most cases, there are no lasting symptoms. Currently, CTE can only be diagnosed from histological studies of the brain tissue of deceased people. If they have not been performed previously, brain imaging studies and neurological consultations should be considered. However, some research suggests that repeated or severe traumatic brain injuries may increase the risk of degenerative brain diseases.

The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is the most common scale used to classify the severity of TBI as mild, moderate, or severe, and is based on the level of consciousness, measured from the verbal, motor, and eye-opening reactions to stimuli. There are approximately 2.5 million people who experience traumatic brain injury in the United States each year, although this may be an understatement because many of the milder cases of TBI, also called concussion, are often not reported because the person is not seen by a doctor or consults a private doctor instead to be seen in the emergency room of a hospital. A score of less than 8 is classified as severe TBI with post-traumatic amnesia greater than 7 days and loss of consciousness greater than 24 hours. Why some people with repetitive brain trauma from activities such as sports-related concussions in professional football will develop a neurodegenerative disease presumed to be CTE and why others don't remain a mystery, even though they have a possible genetic predisposition, such as carry apolipoprotein E (APO E) gene, which is transported on chromosome 19 and occurs in several forms, one of which is APOE4, in which having the double allele is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

Subdivision of patients with a brain injury into these categories facilitates the determination of appropriate medical treatment and prognosis for recovery. Some signs or symptoms may appear immediately after the traumatic event, while others may appear days or weeks later.