Traumatic brain injuries are classified as “mild,” moderate or severe. Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI), or concussion, is one of the most common neurologic disorders. According to the CDC, Emergency Department visits account for about 80 percent of TBIs and include a large number of mild TBIs. Most people recover from a mild TBI, but some have serious long-term consequences. In the CDC findings very young children ages 0 to 4 years had the highest rate of TBI related ED visits (1,035.0 per 100,000 population), followed by older adolescents ages 15 to 19 years (661.1 per 100,000). Mild is a medical term associated with loss of consciousness, not necessarily associated with functional outcomes.
CDC estimates that the likelihood of an athlete in a contact sport experiencing a concussion may be as high as 19 percent per season. Although the majority of athletes who experience a concussion are likely to recover, an unknown number of these individuals may experience chronic cognitive and neurobehavioral difficulties related to recurrent injury. Symptoms following a mild TBI are referred to as “Post-Concussion Syndrome.” A repetitive injury while recovering from an initial concussion can have catastrophic consequences, as in the case of “Second Impact Syndrome,” which has led to approximately 30-40 deaths over the past decade.
To help ensure the health and safety of young athletes, CDC developed the HEADS UP Concussion in Youth Sports initiative to offer information about concussions to coaches, parents, and athletes involved in youth sports. The HEADS UP initiative provides important information on preventing, recognizing, and responding to a concussion. For more information click on this link: http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/youthsports/
BRAIN INJURY ARTICLES AND DATA
TBI in Prisons and Jail: http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/pdf/Prisoner_TBI_Prof-a.pdf
A Guide for Criminal Justice Professionals: http://www.brainline.org/content/2010/03/traumatic-brain-injury-a-guide-for-criminal-justice-professionals.html
Screening for TBI Among Prisoners: http://www.brainline.org/content/2010/03/traumatic-brain-injury-a-guide-for-criminal-justice-professionals.html
Family Resources: Family Resources
The brain can receive several different types of injuries depending on the type of force and amount of force that impacts the head. The type of injury the brain receives may effect just one functional area of the brain, various areas, or all areas of the brain. Types of traumatic brain injuries and their characteristics are discussed below, followed by related definitions.
Brain Injury: A more descriptive term than “head injury”. Damage to the brain that results in impairments in physical, cognitive, speech/language and behavioral functioning. The damage may be caused by an external physical force, insufficient blood supply, toxic substance, malignancy, disease-producing organisms, congenital disorders, birth trauma or degenerative processes.
A concussion is caused when the brain receives trauma from an impact or a sudden momentum or movement change. The blood vessels in the brain may stretch and cranial nerves may be damaged.
A contusion is a bruise (bleeding) on the brain.
Coup-Contrecoup Injury describes contusions that are both at the site of the impact and on the complete opposite side of the brain.
Diffuse Axonal Injury
A Diffuse Axonal Injury can be caused by shaking or strong rotation of the head, as with Shaken Baby Syndrome, or by rotational forces, such as with a car accident.
Traumatic Brain Injury: Damage to living brain tissue by an external mechanical forces or motion. It is usually characterized by a period of altered consciousness (amnesia or coma) that can be very brief (minutes) or very long (months/indefinitely). The term does not include brain injuries that are caused by insufficient blood supply, toxic substances, malignancy, disease-producing organisms, congenital disorders, birth trauma or degenerative processes.
Anoxic Event: near drowning, electrical shock, drug overdose, kidney/heart failure, industrial/chemical exposure, injury subsequent to TBI/CVA.
Acquired Brain Disorder (ABD): Acquired brain disorder is a broader category, which includes neurological disorders as well as acquired brain injury. They may each result in trauma or disruption to the brain and nervous system from a variety of sources.
The brain is the control board for all functions of the body. It is comprised of the cortex, which controls most thinking functions, the cerebellum, which coordinates movement, and the brain stem, which controls consciousness, alertness and basic functions such as breathing, respiration and pulse. The brain function can be disrupted in a number of ways: injuries, toxins, illness and unrelated medical conditions. These disorders to the brain and nervous system include, in addition to acquired brain injuries, neurological brain disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and other rare neurological disorders.
Second Impact Syndrome “Recurrent Traumatic Brain Injury”
Second Impact Syndrome, also termed “recurrent traumatic brain injury,” can occur when a person sustains a second traumatic brain injury before the symptoms of the first traumatic brain injury have healed. The second injury may occur from days to weeks following the first. Loss of consciousness is not required. The second impact is more likely to cause brain swelling and widespread damage.
Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken Baby Syndrome is a violent criminal act that causes traumatic brain injury. Shaken Baby Syndrome occurs when the perpetrator aggressively shakes a baby or young child. The forceful whiplash-like motion causes the brain to be injured.
Locked in Syndrome
Locked in Syndrome is a rare neurological condition in which a person cannot physically move any part of the body except the eyes.
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