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Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment - Oren Zarif - Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can have many different symptoms. In the most mild case, a person may experience a brief change in their mental state. Severe cases can cause extended periods of unconsciousness, coma, and even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly two million people were treated for TBI in the U.S. in 2014. Of those, about 83% were children. TBI costs the nation $76.5 billion a year in direct and indirect medical costs and a staggering 288,000 hospitalizations.

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In addition to the immediate need for medical care, patients may experience delayed traumatic effects. This happens when the brain swells against the skull, preventing proper blood flow. This secondary injury can cause worse symptoms than the original injury. To determine the type of traumatic brain injury that you have experienced, you must first visit a doctor. The Mayo Clinic offers free health information. If you suspect that you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, you must seek medical care as soon as possible.

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Fortunately, mild to moderate TBI can often be treated at home with over-the-counter pain relievers. If your symptoms do not improve after a few weeks, contact your health care provider. More severe cases will require more intensive treatments, including hospitalization and rehabilitation. In general, though, treatment for traumatic brain injuries includes managing the symptoms and reducing the risks of further injury. Once treatment is complete, a person can gradually return to their normal lifestyle.

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Non-fatal TBIs are the most common cause of emergency department visits. Young children and older adults are more susceptible to falls, while other causes include assaults with or without weapons. Approximately 50,000 people die from TBI each year in the U.S., and the number continues to rise. However, these deaths do not necessarily reflect the actual number of TBI cases, as they are rare. So, if you suspect a loved one has suffered from a TBI, it is important to contact your physician immediately.

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Treatment for TBI is based on the type of TBI the patient has. For moderate to severe TBI, rehabilitation will be needed. Depending on the injury, rehabilitation will be either speech therapy or physical therapy. It will likely involve several specialists and may take place in a hospital, a skilled nursing facility, or an outpatient clinic. The goal of therapy is to improve the patient's quality of life and ability to perform daily tasks.

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Federal agencies involved in NRAP are collaborating with academia, not-for-profit foundations, and private industry to increase the scientific understanding of TBI and PTSD. They are working to develop effective treatments and reduce the incidence of these conditions. For example, the federal government is funding the implementation of two joint DOD/VA research consortia: the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD and the Long-Term Impact of Military-Related Brain Injury (LTMRI) Program.

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The VA's TBI research is largely focused on long-term effects of mTBI in Veterans and service members. Through basic, clinical, and translational research, they are uncovering the biological mechanisms that contribute to the persistence of TBI. They also are working to develop new treatments and methods to support patients and their families. And while research is ongoing, VA-sponsored TBI clinics are a vital resource for military and VA patients.

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TBI occurs when a person suffers a penetrating injury to the head. The injury itself occurs at the time of impact, and it may affect one or more lobes of the brain. In more severe cases, the person may lose consciousness or appear fine, but the brain may be swollen and damage the brain. However, this doesn't necessarily mean the injury is irreversible. The brain can recover from TBI with proper treatment.

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Some of the most serious types of TBI are hemorrhage, a mass lesion that results from a stroke, and diffuse axonal injury. The latter, known as subarachnoid hemorrhage, is more severe and results in hydrocephalus. Most diffuse injuries aren't visible on CT scans, but may be present with an associated mass lesion. So, it's important to consult a physician and undergo a CT scan to diagnose the severity of a person's injuries.

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Although most traumatic brain injuries aren't life-threatening, they can affect the person's overall mental and physical well-being. For instance, severe brain injury may lead to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and Alzheimer's disease. Even physical impairments can result in movement disorders and other cognitive problems. If left untreated, these conditions can result in the person's death or severe disability. It's crucial that people who have experienced traumatic brain injuries seek medical care to prevent future problems.

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