The Long-term Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injuries

If you fall or are struck in such a way that your brain slams against the hard internal walls of your skull, your brain can suffer a traumatic injury. While traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) range from severe, causing extended unconsciousness or amnesia, to mild, with just a brief alteration of your consciousness or mental status, you may continue to deal with after-effects long after the initial traumatic event.

As we keep learning about the potential serious long-term consequences of TBIs, it's important to stay up-to-date and aware of the real risks that can accompany any brain injury. Take care when engaging in activities (like some sports) that can increase your chances of undergoing a TBI. 

If you're concerned about a brain injury you've experienced, contact Habib Khan, MD, of Arizona Institute of Neurology & Polysomnography in Casa Grande, Arizona, right away. He can diagnose your TBI and advise you on the long-term consequences you can expect. Here's information he commonly gives to his patients who have TBI concerns or diagnoses.

Signs, symptoms, and lasting consequences

If you experience a TBI, you could have long-term and immediate changes in various types of functionality. A TBI can affect your:

After a TBI, your risk of brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease goes up, and some people experience epilepsy as a result of a TBI.

The most severe consequence of a TBI is death. Current research links the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) to repeated TBIs. The condition, caused by multiple hits to the head, can only be diagnosed after death, but appears to cause changes in brain function before that, as well.

How to support your recovery

While about three quarters of all TBIs each year qualify as mild, your risk of complications increases with repeated injuries, even if they’re only mild ones, especially within a short period of time. Too many mild TBIs in a row can threaten your life. Take all concussions seriously.

It's important to minimize your risk of concussions or TBIs, but you should also know what steps to take to best support your full recovery if you do experience a brain injury. After your injury, stop and rest. Make sure not to violently shift your brain again while you recover.

If you become concerned about signs of a TBI, get in touch with a medical professional right away. You may need to seek emergency medical attention if your symptoms are severe. Even a “mild” brain injury should still receive prompt medical attention and diagnosis to prevent serious complications.

At Arizona Institute of Neurology & Polysomnography, Dr. Khan can diagnose your condition and recommend the right approach and medications to help you heal. For a serious TBI, you may need help re-learning basic skills or recovering your full language and reasoning capabilities. Dr. Khan can treat any resulting balance disorders or residual headache pain related to a brain injury or blow to the head. You can make an appointment with a member of our care team over the phone or request one online.

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