Traumatic Brain Injury (Encyclopedia of Neurological Disorders)
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the result of physical trauma to the head causing damage to the brain. This damage can be focal, or restricted to a single area of the brain, or diffuse, affecting more than one region of the brain. By definition, TBI requires that there be a head injury, or any physical assault to the head leading to injury of the scalp, skull, or brain. However, not all head trauma is associated with TBI.
TBI is sometimes known as acquired brain injury. The least severe and most common type of TBI is termed a concussion, which is technically defined as a brief loss of consciousness after a head injury without any physical evidence of damage on an imaging study such as a CT or MRI scan. In common parlance, concussion may refer to any minor injury to the head or brain.
Symptoms, complaints, and neurological or behavioral changes following TBI depend on the location (s) of the brain injury and on the total volume of injured brain. Usually, TBI causes focal brain injury involving a single area of the brain where the head is struck or where an object such as a bullet enters the brain. Although damage is typically worst at the point of direct impact or entry, TBI may also cause diffuse brain injury involving several other brain regions.
(The entire section is 4344 words.)
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