Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have many different symptoms, making it difficult for an physician to diagnose TBI. Often these injuries are neglected, misdiagnosed, and ignored leaving patients to ‘deal with it’ and deteriorate.
The brain is an exceedingly intricate organ. When the brain undergoes trauma, the body’s systems may be thrown into temporary or permanent disarray. The repercussions are as serious as you can imagine. Traumatic brain injuries can be debilitating, wiping out one’s ability to care for oneself or to earn wages to support one’s family.
CDC statistical reports show that Traumatic Brain Injuries are the leading cause of death and disabilities in the U.S. among children and older adults. Each year an estimated 1.5 million sustain a TBI.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI), also known as an intracranial injury, is an injury to the brain caused by an external force. Slip and fall, explosion, motor vehicle accidents and sports injury are among the most common causes of TBI. However, TBI can also be caused by a bump, blow, or a jolt to the head.
The mild/moderate/severe Traumatic Brain Injury have no clinical meaning per se. Mild TBI tend to disappear more or less quickly for most people, some research suggests that about 15 percent continue to suffer symptoms that can be severely debilitating. Thus, “mild” injury may be anything but mild.
Some brain injuries get worse over time – like the football players with CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy). This can turn what appears to be a mild injury into a severe brain disorder.
TBI can be divided into two broad categories as to the role of imaging.
1. Major injuries that cause bleeding in the brain – easily detected by CT scanning or Routine MRI
a. Intracerebral (inside the brain) hematomas.
b. Subdural hematomas (between the dura membrane and the brain).
c.Epidural hematomas (between the outside of the dura and the skull).
d. Contusions – scattered small specs of blood from a traumatic bruise.
2. Major, Moderate and focal injuries that occur without bleeding – Best detected by DTI
a. Diffuse axonal injury.
b. Damage to grey matter (neuron connections) best detected by DTI – mean diffusivity.
c. AA wide array of specific injuries in the connecting white matter of the brain – best detected by DTI – Fractional Anisotropy.
Much of the evidence of concussions and other brain injuries are invisible in a routine MRI, because a routine Brain MRI cannot detect white matter injury, where small axons of nerves are damaged causing water to leak out from those neural tracts. At the Neurography Institute, we use Advanced Brain MRI known as DTI (Diffusion Tensor Imaging) to detect the tracts that have been damaged and are leaking water making it the best marker for brain injury. Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) can accurately detect and document most all the subtle injuries that interfere with the normal functioning of the operating circuits of the brain.
Often, people with TBI are frequently involved in a litigation because a particular symptom caused by the head injury will have a severe compensable economic effect – for instance – make a person unable to perform their job (failure of new memory formation) which would be the basis for an economic damage award in court.
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