What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injury, also referred to as TBI, is a complex injury that occurs from a sudden trauma that causes damage to the brain. TBI can result when your head suddenly hits an object or if an object pierces the skull. These injuries typically occur from falls, traffic accidents, interpersonal violence, or participation in sports.

TBI is manifested by either loss of consciousness, alteration of consciousness or mental status, or focal neurologic deficits, which may come and go. TBI is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. It remains the leading cause of death and disability among young people in developed countries.

Symptoms of TBI

Mild Symptoms:

  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision or tired eyes
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Trouble with memory
  • Sleep disturbances

Severe Symptoms:

  • Headaches that worsen or won't go away
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Seizures
  • Weakness of numbness in extremities
  • Loss of coordination

The Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic

The goal of the TBI Clinic is to evaluate patients' headaches, memory problems, mood problems, or sleep disorders. We use state-of-the-art neurodiagnostic and neuropsychometric tests and manage pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments aimed at relieving symptoms and optimizing function. We collaborate closely with our colleagues in Neurosurgery, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neuropsychology, Psychiatry, and Physical and Occupational Therapy to care for patients as effectively as possible. 

Want to Learn More About TBI?

In This Section

TBI Outpatient Clinic

The TBI Outpatient Clinic focuses on follow-up of patients discharged from the hospital after being admitted for a brain injury.

TBI Support Group

A support group for TBI survivors, their caregivers and family at any point in the recovery process.

Clinical Research Studies

Learn about the research and clinical trials being done at Penn for traumatic brain injuries.

TBI Research Team

Meet the team of physicians that help treat traumatic brain injury and help patients at the TBI Outpatient Clinic.

Additional Resources

Brain Injury Awareness Month and other helpful links for TBI patients.

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