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4 Life-Changing Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

February 27, 2015 | Category: Brain Injuries | Share

The subject of traumatic brain injury (TBI) seems to be in the news every day.  An example of this was December 1, 2014 when at least two news stories on TBI were covered:

  • The NBC News story, Headed for Disaster: What We Know About Traumatic Brain Injury, reporter Miranda Leitsinger covered the story of the suicide of Ohio State football player, Kosta Karageorge. The coroner ordered a special exam to see whether there was a link between Mr. Karageorge's suicide and the traumatic brain injury he may have suffered while playing lineman for Ohio State.

4 Life-changing effects of TBI - Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.

  • The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) released to the press High School Football Players Show Brain Changes After One Season by Dr. Christopher Whitlow. Here is a summary of the news story:
  • High school football players may develop impact-related brain changes over the course of a single season.
  • Players who experience higher levels of head impacts show the most changes, even in the absence of concussion.
  • It remains unclear whether or not these changes will be associated with any negative long-term consequences.

One of the reasons stories about TBI make the headlines is the statistics. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), there are approximately 1.7 million people in the U.S. who suffer from a traumatic brain injury each year.  50,000 people die from TBI, and 85,000 people suffer long term disabilities each year. In the U.S., more than 5.3 million people live with disabilities caused by TBI. 

The CDC reports that TBI occurs when a sudden trauma, often a blow or jolt to the head, causes damage to the brain. The severity of TBI can range from mild (a concussion) to severe (coma). A concussion may cause temporary confusion and headache and sometimes cause permanent cognitive changes while a severe TBI can be fatal.  

Researchers reporting in the Journal of Neurosurgery (JNS) in 2014 said that concussions will not always show symptoms. This adds to the concern of potential long-term effects of repeated 'subconcussive' (less serious) brain trauma in humans.

Life-Changing Effects of TBI

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic, CEMM (Center of Excellence for Medical Multimedia), and others list the following:

  1. Cognitive Skills - Researchers say that individuals who have moderate to severe brain injury will more typically experience problems with sustaining attention, concentrating on tasks and remembering new material. They may become confused easily, speak slowly and solve problems slowly. Switching tasks may take longer with these individuals.
  2. Communication Problems - Individuals may have difficulty writing or understanding speech. They may lack the ability to organize thoughts or ideas, problems with changes in tone or pitch, trouble starting or stopping conversations, use inappropriate or foul language, and may have the inability to use the muscles needed to form words.
  3. Mood/Behavior - Some of the emotional/behavioral problems which are associated with TBI are, depression, apathy, anxiety, irritability, anger, paranoia, confusion, frustration, agitation, sleep problems and mood swings. Some of the behavioral problems may include aggression, violence, impulsivity, acting out, noncompliance, social inappropriateness, and emotional outbursts.
  4. Physical Conditions - Individuals may experience such problems as headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, and sleep disturbance.

Causes of TBI

Common events causing traumatic brain injury, according to the Mayo Clinic, include the following:

  • Falls are the leading cause of TBI accounting for 40.5%. Falling out of bed, slipping in the bath, falling down steps, falling from ladders and related falls are the most common cause of TBI overall, particularly in older adults and young children.
  • Vehicle-related collisions represent 14.3% of all TBI . Collisions involving cars, motorcycles or bicycles, and pedestrians involved in such accidents, are a common cause of TBI. 
  • Sports injuries are second only to motor vehicle accidents in young adults 15-24 and account for 10% of all TBI. TBI’s may be caused by injuries from a number of sports, particularly in youth.

Types of TBI (Source:

TBI can be classified into three categories: mild, moderate and severe.

  • Mild - A brain injury can be classified as mild if loss of consciousness and/or confusion and disorientation is shorter than 30 minutes.
  • Moderate - When there is a loss of consciousness that lasts for a few hours, when confusion lasts from days to weeks, or when physical, cognitive and/or behavioral impairments last for months is when TBI is considered moderate.
  • Severe - Severe brain injury is associated with a prolonged state of unconsciousness or coma that lasts days, weeks, or months The deficits range from impairment of higher level cognitive functions to comatose states. 

"TBI is often not apparent following accidents. This is why it is important for those involved in accidents to seek medical attention immediately following any accident," says Naples, Florida, Brain Injury Attorney, Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.


Naples Brain Injury Attorney,  Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.




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