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Traumatic Brain Injuries – How are they diagnosed?

Traumatic Brain Injuries can be seen either with the naked eye or with medical imaging tools like MRI or CT scans. Many TBIs, however, will not be visible in those scans – but that doesn’t mean the injury is not there. With moderate or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), the diagnosis is often self-evident. In the presence of other life threatening injuries, which are often the case with motor vehicle accidents, closed head injury can be missed.

Methods of Diagnosis

Mild traumatic brain injury may not be diagnosed until the individual begins to have problems in what were once easy tasks or social situations. Other cases, the patient may be on a breathing machine and sedated and the evaluation for brain injury will be limited until the patient is allowed to emerge from medications and mechanical ventilation.

A detailed neurological examination is important and will bring out evidence of brain injury. Brain imaging with CAT scan, MRI, SPECT and PET scan may be useful. Cognitive evaluation is made by a Neuropsychologist with formal neuropsychological testing. Evaluations by physical, occupational and speech therapists help clarify the specific deficits of an individual.

TBI Symptoms

Injury to specific areas of the brain will cause certain symptoms. For example, injury to the frontal lobes will cause loss of higher cognitive functions, such as loss of inhibitions leading to inappropriate social behavior. Injury to the cerebellum will cause loss of coordination and balance. The brainstem controls things like breathing and heart rate. An injury to this area could inhibit any of these processes.

Brain injuries can range in scope from mild to severe.  Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) result in permanent neurobiological damage that can produce lifelong deficits to varying degrees.  The potential symptoms from a Traumatic Brain Injury are:

  • Pain in the head, neck or back
  • Loss of ability to read, write, speak, hear or see
  • Loss of mobility and muscle control
  • Increased sensitivity to noise, touch, or certain types of lighting
  • Loss of memory
  • Confusion
  • Poor or inappropriate language
  • Sudden emotional outbursts
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Changes in personality

If a Traumatic Brain Injury results from the negligence of another person, the TBI victim may be entitled to compensation for the injury and the resulting disability. Cantini Law|Droit has been representing clients with Traumatic Brain Injuries for over 35 years. You can also learn more about TBI by downloading our eBook or by Contacting Us at 1-800-606-2529.


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