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Why It’s Hard to Recover from a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted by Robert T. Karns | Jun 06, 2014 | 0 Comments

The term "mild" in a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is misleading. Mild refers to the severity of the initial trauma not the severity of the result of the injury. Survivors of Mild traumatic brain injuries that suffer continuing symptoms that don't resolve - persistent post-concussive syndrome are known as the "miserable minority".

Recovery from a mild traumatic brain injury is a slow process. Recovery may be slower among older adults, young children, and teens. In addition, those who have had a prior mild traumatic brain injury are also at risk of taking longer to recover if they have a second injury.

Some suggestions to aid in recovery are as follows:

  • Create the best possible environment for recovery - caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine can negatively affect the person with a brain injury.
  • Allow more time to complete things - fatigue, attention, and memory issues can cause delays in completing tasks that were easily done before the injury.
  • Professional help is important - getting the proper medical attention is important including working with a cognitive rehabilitation therapist.
  • Support groups - it is important to identify traumatic brain injury support groups in your area and attend them for help.
  • Rest - It is very important after suffering a traumatic brain injury to get as much rest as possible.

Why is Recovery Difficult After a Mild TBI?

There are scientific reasons why a mild traumatic brain injury victim does not recover fully. A person in an automobile accident that is struck from behind will have their head and neck snap back and forth causing the brain to move forcefully back and forth inside the skull. This would be classified as a mild traumatic brain injury based upon the severity of the force. However, what can occur scientifically is that the brain cells (neurons) connected by axons can be severed. This injury is known as diffuse axonal injury (DAI) and causes white matter damage to the brain. A diffuse axonal injury is microscopic and difficult to diagnose and can sometimes be seen on an MRI using diffusion tensor imaging techniques.

Brain injury survivors with this type of injury can in fact suffer persistent post-concussive syndrome and not make a full recovery. Estimates of traumatic brain injury survivors with persistent post-concussive symptoms know as the "miserable minority" have been anywhere from 15% up to 25%.

Get the Legal Help You Need After a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

The Providence brain injury lawyers at Karns & Kerrison have decades of experience helping victims of TBI and mTBI in Rhode Island pursue the financial compensation they deserve. Whether you suffered a brain injury in a fall, car crash, sports injury, or other accident, call us today at (888) 281-3100 so that we can explain your legal rights.

About the Author

Robert T. Karns

Founding Attorney


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