FIVE MYTHS ABOUT TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
Myth no. 1
A person must be knocked out or lose consciousness to suffer a brain injury.
This is untrue. People suffer brain injury every day without losing consciousness. In one well-known case, Phineas Gage suffered a severe frontal lobe injury when an explosive charge propelled a long iron bar into his skull. It entered through the lower left side of his face. He sat conversing with his fellow railway workers, the tip of the bar protruding from the top of his skull, until help arrived. He never lost consciousness.
Although Gage appeared to make a "complete " recovery, he suffered profound personality changes which cost him his job, his family and his mental health. There is no necessary connection between loss of consciousness and brain injury.
Myth no. 2
A person must strike his head on something to sustain a traumatic brain injury.
This is untrue. Brain injury leading to permanent damage and even death can occur in the absence of any blow to the head. Shaken baby syndrome and severe whiplash are only two examples of brain injuries where there has been no evidence of a blow to the head. Sudden acceleration/deceleration can cause the brain to strike the inside of the skull with sufficient force to cause bruising and shearing injuries, particularly to the frontal lobes.
Myth no. 3
Minor head injuries such as whiplash or concussions in sports are purely transitory events and can not cause long term disability.
This is untrue. Even minor head trauma can lead to long-term cognitive, emotional, intellectual and memory problems. This is particularly true where there has been significant acceleration/deceleration of the head (whiplash, shaken babies). It is not even necessary that the blows be repeated -- as in boxing -- although the risk of permanent injury increases with each incident.
Myth no. 4
People who complain of long term consequences after minor head injuries are mostly malingerers and hypochondriacs.
This is untrue. It is estimated that as many as 10-15% of persons who suffer a concussion, may have long term changes affecting cognition, intellect, emotions, and personality. Such delayed symptoms are often overlooked or misdiagnosed, even when there was solid evidence of brain injury at the crash scene (concussion, shock, disorientation, post-traumatic amnesia, even loss of consciousness)
Myth no. 5
There no objective evidence that Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and long-term complications such as Post Concussion Syndrome even exist. They're just terms invented by crafty lawyers and greedy crash victims.
This is untrue. Sophisticated imaging techniques using Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can often detect the small lesions typical of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Neuropsychological testing can document the subtle cognitive, emotional intellectual and personality changes characteristic of MTBI. Human autopsies and animal experiments have also demonstrated the microscopic stretching and tearing of nerve fibers in the brain typically seen in cases of MTBI.
For the definition of MTBI or TBI CLICK HERE