Traumatic Brain Injury

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What is a Traumatic Brain Injury

According to the CDC, a TBI is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild,” i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness, to “severe,” i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury.

Types of traumatic brain injury include:

  • Closed head injury
  • Contusions/Coup-Countrecoup
  • Diffuse Axonal Injury
  • Intracranial Hemotomas
  • Penetrating Injury
  • Skull Fractures

Secondary injuries may develop as a result of the primary injury, like:

  • Cerebral edema
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hypoxia
  • Ischemia
  • Second Impact Syndrome

Common Symptoms

The most commonly reported symptoms from a mild to moderate TBI include:

  • Memory issues or loss

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Headaches

  • Dizziness or loss of balance

  • Fatigue or drowsiness

  • Nausea with or without vomiting

  • Ringing in the ears

  • Trouble speaking

  • Dilation of one or both pupils

  • Loss of coordination or impaired motor skills

  • Weakness or numbness in extremities

Many traumatic brain injuries lead to psychological issues, which can mimic the symptoms of other brain conditions. What may look like various psychological disorders and/or cognitive problems to a practitioner may actually be a brain injury. Your provider may not be able to “see” those issues without the objective evidence provided by qSPECT® imaging.

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Impacted Areas of the Brain

The regions of interest on SPECT include Frontal lobes/poles, orbito-prefrontal cortex, anterior temporal lobes, and occipital lobes/poles. Based on literature, signature patterns for TBI include frontal, temporal, and occipital areas of hypoperfusion, and/or coup/countercoup cerebral blood flow patterns.

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