A Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a blow to the head or sudden jerking motion causes damage to the brain. TBIs range from minor (concussions) to severe, with effects that can resolve over time or last a lifetime. Sometimes, brain injuries result in death.Most Common Causes of TBI• Falls make up 35.2 percent of TBI causes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Falls are the most common cause of TBI.• 17.3 percent of TBIs occur during car accidents. While car accidents are the second most common cause of TBI, they are the number one cause of fatal TBI.• Struck by/striking an object is the cause of 16.5 percent of TBIs, and also the second leading cause of child TBI.• 10 percent of TBIs are the result of assault. For children, this number is only 2.9 percent and for elderly folks, only 1 percent.• Unknown/other. A significant amount of TBIs are caused by unknown or very rare factors. Some TBIs go unreported, and some victims are unaware of what caused their TBI due to delayed or unrecognized symptoms.How TBI Affects CognitionWhat is cognition? Cognition is defined as the ability to know or to think. Many different mental skills factor into a person’s cognition: memory, communication, attention, problem-solving, etc. A common effect of brain injury is the disruption of the victim’s cognition.• Language and communication. Brain injury can make it hard for a sufferer to communicate. Common manifestations of this include trouble finding the right words, trouble with word or thought organization and an inability to follow a conversation or stay on topic.• Inappropriate or impulsive behavior. Brain injury can lead to irrational lashing out and a lack of self-control. This includes things like losing one’s temper or an inability to recognize and respond to social cues.• Planning and organization. It is common for victims of mild to moderate brain injury to have problems organizing their schedules. Assistance may be required for these people to perform actions that require taking steps in a certain order, like cooking.• Problems processing and understanding information. The TBI sufferer may need extra time to understand what another person is saying or to correctly follow instructions. Reading and understanding information can likewise take some time. Reaction time may also be affected, which can make it difficult to do things like drive a car safely.In conclusion, even mild traumatic brain injuries can cause long-term disruption to a person’s life. Awareness of the issue and an understanding of the symptoms are needed to adequately help someone who has suffered this kind of injury.
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