Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (MTBI)
Explanation of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
The condition known as mild traumatic brain injury is more commonly referred to by the term concussion. While a severe concussion will normally be referred to as a traumatic brain injury or TBI, normal concussions are referred to as being mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI) due to the fact that a single injury of this type will not typically cause any serious long term health consequences. Several repeated mild traumatic brain injuries, however, may lead to the life-changing and potentially debilitating condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Symptoms of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Due to the fact that the brain plays a pivotal role in every function of the body, a mild traumatic brain injury can cause widespread physical disruptions. The victim of an MTBI may experience headaches and visual disturbances, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, light sensitivity, loss of balance and a general feeling of fatigue or lethargy. The individual may find that he or she sleeps more or less than normal, and may experience difficulty falling asleep. MTBI may also cause emotional disturbances ranging from irritability to sadness and anxiety, as well as a general increase in emotional volatility. Finally, a mild traumatic brain injury is likely to result in cognitive difficulties including trouble with concentrating or thinking clearly and short-term memory loss.
Possible Effects of MTBI
Mild traumatic brain injuries are common among those who participate in professional or amateur sports which involve physical contact, who serve in the military or whose work places them at risk of receiving impacts to the head. It is impossible to state exactly how many people suffer an MTBI every year, since the injury frequently does not cause symptoms serious enough to seek medical treatment and therefore often goes undiagnosed. Individuals who suffer several mild traumatic brain injuries may eventually display the effects of CTE, which can include symptoms similar to Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The team of doctors at the Brain Injury Research Institute is working to investigate the relation between mild traumatic brain injury and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and we welcome donations and fundraising contributions from the public.