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Brain Injury Basics


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 1.4 million Americans fall victim to brain injury each year. These injuries can result from something as benign as a tumble on the sky slopes to a car accident. Many times the damage from brain injuries can be difficult to discover. Even “mild” brain injuries (often misdiagnosed or missed) are still brain injuries. It's important to understand the symptoms and signs of brain injury and the different kinds of brain injury people suffer.

Brain injury refers to physical trauma to the head and/or brain. A severe shake, or strike to the head, penetration, bump or even damage caused by chemical intake or restricted blood flow can all result in traumatic brain injury. From mild to severe, and with symptoms as subtle as can be, brain injuries aren't restricted to those involved in major accidents. Some causes include slipping and falling, contact sports like football, non-contact sports like biking and assault.

Concussions: Concussions are a common brain injury which result from a violent shaking of the brain, often caused by a blow or a sudden push or shove.  Common in contact sports, concussions can result in permanent brain damage. In recent years, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) has been shown to develop in NFL athletes who have suffered concussions over the years of their careers. CTE is a degenerative brain disease where a protein called Tau forms clumps that slowly spread throughout the brain, killing brain cells.

Acquired Brain Injury: Acquired Brain Injury describes brain trauma that does not necessarily result from physical trauma to the head. The condition's cause is often internal (i.e. chemical in or toxic contamination) and results when brain cells are deprived of oxygen.


Though symptoms of brain injury can vary depending upon the severity of the damage, common indicators of brain injury caused by external trauma include:

  • persistent headache
  • lack of concentration
  • memory issues
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • moodiness, behavioral or cognitive problems
  • nausea, and
  • blurry vision

Brain injury may also result in loss of consciousness after the accident or trauma and symptoms may develop gradually.


Brain injuries in children are commonly caused by falls, bike accidents, or participation in sports and other recreational activities. Children can also suffer brain injury through caregiver abuse ("Shaken Baby Syndrome," for example). Children suffering brain injury may be particularly difficult to diagnose. Common symptoms of brain injury in children include:

  • listlessness or tiredness
  • irritability
  • changes in eating patterns, sleep, play, or school performance
  • loss of interest in favorite toys or activities
  • loss of new skills (e.g., toilet training)
  • unsteady walking or trouble balancing, and
  • vomiting

I you or a loved one are suspected of having a traumatic brain injury it is vitally important that medical treatment be sought immediately. Even if you believe the injury was “mild” or if there is no clear injury to the head, it is important to be checked out by a physician who knows what to look for when treating traumatic brain injury.

If you want to consider filing a legal claim for a head injury, you should speak with the skilled personal injury attorneys of Panio Law Offices in Chicago. We have a wealth of experience recovering the highest award damages in these kinds of cases. We will work hard to ensure you are compensated for your injuries, get on with your recovery and eventually your life. Call us at (708) 928-8680. We can help.

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