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Minor head injuries may trigger brain damage

After a head trauma, electrical malfunctions in the brain may cause further damage that prevents recovery and return to normal life.

The quality of life a person is enjoying in Florida may change abruptly after an accident that involves a blow to the head. According to the Norwich Bulletin, participating in conversations or interacting with people in groups may be difficult for someone who has suffered even a seemingly minor head injury. This may lead to issues at work as well as creating distance between friends and family members who are not aware that the injury caused a health problem, because frequently the symptoms do not appear until later.

Brain tsunamis and functional disruption after TBI

According to Science Daily, scientists have discovered that when nerve cells in one area of the brain experience an electrical change, it triggers a malfunction that spreads like a wave throughout other regions as well. This is known as a brain tsunami, and a person who has suffered a significant TBI may have several of these over the weeks and years after the original injury, with further damage occurring as a result of each event.

The National Law Review reports that researchers believe a person who suffers a concussion that does not appear to have lasting effects may also experience multiple brain tsunamis. Now that doctors have realized how serious these events are, renewed effort is being made to study them in hopes of developing better ways to treat patients with TBIs.

Statistics and warning signs of TBI

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that people are by far the most likely to suffer a TBI in a fall, with this type of accident causing more than 40 percent of those that send a person to the hospital or result in a death. Together, motor vehicle accidents and blunt trauma represent almost 30 percent of the total. Another 30 percent of the incidents reported were either assault victims, or the cause of the injury was unknown or from some other source.

The CDC urges anyone who develops symptoms such as concentration or memory problems, light sensitivity, dizziness and other changes in the days or weeks after the injury to seek medical attention. After a concussion, a person has a higher risk of a second head trauma, and subsequent concussions may have even more severe consequences.

While hospitalizations and deaths caused by TBIs are tracked by the CDC and other organizations, hundreds of people with head injuries may never be included in the statistics because they are not diagnosed and reported. A personal injury attorney may be able to advise victims of head trauma on a course of action that may result in compensation when the injury was caused by the carelessness of another.