Traumatic Brain Injury Definition

A recent study found that head trauma, or traumatic brain injury, may increase a person's risk of developing schizophrenia. But what exactly is traumatic brain injury?

Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, has a simple definition: it is damage to the brain caused by an external force. This type of acquired brain damage often occurs as a result of a sudden and violent blow to the head, but it can also be caused by penetration of the skull by an object or even just by rapid acceleration or deceleration of the brain within the skull.

According to information from the Mayo Clinic, falls are the most common cause of TBI, and are a particularly common cause in young children and elderly adults. Other common causes include car, motorcycle, or bike accidents, sports injuries, and combat injuries like those resulting from an explosive blast.

Prognosis of TBI varies depending on the part of the brain injured and the severity of the injury. Mild traumatic brain injury, like a concussion, generally causes temporary symptoms that are gone within 3 weeks, with few people suffering lasting impairments. More severe instances of TBI are much more likely to result in lasting disability.

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