What is "Mild" TBI?

There are many caring and skillful medical providers in Hawaii that understand the sensitive testing that goes into the diagnosis and treatment of a traumatic brain injury.  Likewise, the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch has built a reputation on their experience of representing those persons who have suffered a traumatic brain injury by understanding the injury down to the molecular level, by understanding all of the mechanisms of injury that cause a TBI, by knowing the cutting edge treatment and therapies available and the medical centers that provide these treatments.  It is this knowledge and experience that has made the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch fierce advocates for all of its clients who have a traumatic brain injury.

In the past, traumatic brain injury was categorized as either “mild,” “moderate,” or “severe” based on the duration of loss of consciousness.  Today, the universal understanding is that brain injury can occur without loss of consciousness, without direct external trauma to the head, and without positive findings on CT, MRI, or other sophisticated diagnostic testing.  

Centre for NeuroSkills in Bakersfield, CA defines Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) as follows:  Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) is characterized by one or more of the following symptoms: a brief loss of consciousness, loss of memory immediately before or after the injury, any alteration in mental state at the time of the accident, or focal neurological deficits. In many MTBI cases, the person seems fine on the surface, yet continues to endure chronic functional problems. Some people suffer long-term effects of MTBI, known as postconcussion syndrome (PCS). Persons suffering from PCS can experience significant changes in cognition and personality.

Most traumatic brain injuries result in widespread damage to the brain because the brain ricochets inside the skull during the impact of an accident. Diffuse axonal injury (Figure 1) occurs when the nerve cells are torn from one another. Localized damage also occurs when the brain bounces against the skull. The brain stem, frontal lobe, and temporal lobes are particularly vulnerable to this because of their location near bony protrusions.

The brain stem is located at the base of the brain. Aside from regulating basic arousal and regulatory functions, the brain stem is involved in attention and short-term memory. Trauma to this area can lead to disorientation, frustration, and anger. The limbic system, higher up in the brain than the brain stem, helps regulate emotions. Connected to the limbic system are the temporal lobes which are involved in many cognitive skills such as memory and language. Damage to the temporal lobes, or seizures in this area, have been associated with a number of behavioral disorders. The frontal lobe is almost always injured due to its large size and its location near the front of the cranium. The frontal lobe is involved in many cognitive functions and is considered our emotional and personality control center. Damage to this area can result in decreased judgment and increased impulsivity.

Leading academic medical centers continue to search for ways to prevent, diagnose and treat mild traumatic brain injury.  ScienceDaily reported on February 22, 2010 a presentation by Douglas Smith, M.D., director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair and professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine at the 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in San Diego, CA.  Dr. Smith reported his findings on the molecular mechanism at play in mild traumatic brain injury.  Smith stated that although one million people in the US are affected by “mild” traumatic brain injury, it is generally ignored as a major health injury.  However, this “mild” form of injury induces persisting neurological and cognitive problems in many of these patients, exacting an enormous emotional and financial toll.  Smith and his colleagues have begun to amass data from human and animal studies at 2-4 days after injury using advanced neuroimaging techniques.  They have found distinct changes throughout the white matter in the brain.  Also, protein markers of brain pathology were identified after mild “traumatic brain injury” in the blood of patients.  Smith and his team propose a potential molecular mechanism to explain their findings.  Specifically, they found that the stretching and disconnection of nerve-cell axons after “mild” traumatic brain injury induces problems in the sodium channels found on the surface of neurons.

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If you or someone you know has been injured or suffered
Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI as a result of someone else’s negligence,

you need the assistance of the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch.
Call 808-523-2451 today
to speak with Hawaii’s Personal Injury Attorney.