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
- Loss of consciousness for a few seconds
- Blurred vision or tired eyes
- Change in sleep patterns
- Trouble with memory
- Sleep disturbances
- Headaches that worsen or won't go away
- Vomiting or nausea
- Weakness of numbness in extremities
- Loss of coordination
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.
Q & A With TBI Specialists
TBI Support Group
Patients with mild to moderate injuries may receive skull and neck X-rays to check for bone fractures or spinal instability. For moderate to severe cases, the imaging test is a computed tomography (CT) scan.
Most symptoms which produce disability after TBI can be effectively managed through tailored pharmacological and non-pharmacologic treatments. Choosing the correct treatments requires expert neurological evaluations, in addition to appropriate imaging and diagnostic testing. Inappropriate treatments can delay recovery or even exacerbate symptoms. Counseling and education about the nature and consequences of injury is an important component of recovery.
Mind Your Brain Conference
Penn Medicine hosts an annual Mind Your Brain conference for brain injury survivors, families, caregivers, and interested parties to connect to resources and information that can help on the journey to recovery of a traumatic brain injury.
Learn more about the conference and how you can support it