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Traumatic Brain Injury Info and Resources

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Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI), a form of acquired brain injury, occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. TBI can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.  Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain.   A person with a mild TBI may remain conscious or may experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes. Other symptoms of mild TBI include headache, confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision or tired eyes, ringing in the ears, bad taste in the mouth, fatigue or lethargy, a change in sleep patterns, behavioral or mood changes, and trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking.  A person with a moderate or severe TBI may show these same symptoms, but may also have a headache that gets worse or does not go away, repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, an inability to awaken from sleep, dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in the extremities, loss of coordination, and increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation.

Treatment

Anyone with signs of moderate or severe TBI should receive medical attention as soon as possible. Because little can be done to reverse the initial brain damage caused by trauma, medical personnel try to stabilize an individual with TBI and focus on preventing further injury. Primary concerns include insuring proper oxygen supply to the brain and the rest of the body, maintaining adequate blood flow, and controlling blood pressure. Imaging tests help in determining the diagnosis and prognosis of a TBI patient. Patients with mild to moderate injuries may receive skull and neck X-rays to check for bone fractures or spinal instability. For moderate to severe cases, the imaging test is a computed tomography (CT) scan. Moderately to severely injured patients receive rehabilitation that involves individually tailored treatment programs in the areas of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, physiatry (physical medicine), psychology/psychiatry, and social support.

Research

View a list of studies currently seeking patients.

View more studies on this condition.

Read additional information from Medline Plus.

Organizations

Brain Injury Association of Maryland

Our Mission is to create a better future through brain injury prevention, education, advocacy and promotion of research. We Take Action by providing leadership and support for a wide variety of projects and programs in resource coordination, prevention, education, advocacy and self determination.

2200 Kernan Drive
Baltimore, Maryland 21207
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Tel:410.4478.2924 (800-448-3541)
Fax:410.448.3541

Acoustic Neuroma Association

Provides information and support to patients diagnosed with or treated for acoustic neuroma or other benign tumors affecting the cranial nerves.

600 Peachtree Parkway
Suite 108
Cumming, GA 30041
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Tel: 770-205-8211 877-200-8211
Fax: 770-205-0239/877-202-0239

Brain Injury Association of America, Inc.

Non-profit organization dedicated to people with brain injury and their families. Offers research, education, and advocacy programs through a national office, network of state affiliates, support groups, and a helpline.

1608 Spring Hill Rd
Suite 110
Vienna, VA 22182
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Tel: 703-761-0750 800-444-6443
Fax: 703-761-0755

Brain Trauma Foundation

Nationwide organization devoted to improving the outcome of traumatic brain injury patients. Focuses on the acute phase of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and methods to improve chances of a meaningful recovery. The Foundation works to improve the care of TBI patients from the scene of injury to the emergency room and ICU through guidelines development, professional education, quality improvement, and clinical research.

415 Madison Avenue
14th Floor
New York, NY 10017
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Tel: 212-772-0608
Fax: 212-772-0357

National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC)

8201 Corporate Drive
Suite 600
Landover, MD 20785
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Tel: 301-459-5900/301-459-5984 (TTY) 800-346-2742
Fax: 301-562-2401

National Stroke Association

National non-profit organization that offers education, services and community-based activities in prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and recovery. Serves the public and professional communities, people at risk, patients and their health care providers, stroke survivors, and their families and caregivers.

9707 East Easter Lane
Suite B
Centennial, CO 80112-3747
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Tel: 303-649-9299 800-STROKES (787-6537)
Fax: 303-649-1328

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-7100
Tel: 202-245-7460 202-245-7316 (TTY)
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