The Traumatic Brain Injury team at Penn consists of physicians, specialists, researchers, nurses and support staff who focus on the diagnosis, treatment and research advancements of TBI.

Meet The Team
Penn Neurology TBI Team Photo

Symptoms of a TBI

Traumatic brain injury, also refereed to as TBI, is a complex brain 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 or may not be transient. 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.

multiple images of a brain scan

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


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.

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 Research

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

TBI Team

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

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