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Mild brain injury FAQs

A mild brain injury causes cognitive, psychological and physical symptoms in the aftermath of an accident, but victims do not experience prolonged periods of unconsciousness.

Some mild injury sufferers do not experience unconsciousness of any kind.

Mild brain injuries can include psychological problems, such as depression, anxiety, substance addiction. Just because an injury is classed as mild does not automatically mean that it is short term. Recent medical discoveries have highlighted that mild brain injuries can produce long term effects, which affect various aspects of a person’s life.

What cognitive issues are caused by a mild brain injury?

There are a number of common cognitive problems caused by mild brain injuries, including:

  • Attention and filtering difficulty

  • Short term memory loss

  • Difficulty processing information

  • Loss of problem solving skills

  • Organisation problems

  • Judgement and decision making issues

  • Problems with higher level thinking skills

What physical issues are caused by a mild brain injury?

There are a number of common physical issues caused by mild brain injuries, including:

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Fatigue

  • Ringing in the ears

  • Persistent headaches

  • Hypersensitivity to light, sound, touch, smell or taste

  • Sensitivity in crowds and other busy environments

What psychological or emotional issues can be caused by a mild brain injury?

There are a number of psychological and emotional problems caused by mild brain injury, including:

  • Anxiety or depression

  • Sleeping disturbances

  • Increased or decreased sex drive

  • Increased fears

  • Temperamental changes

  • Increased fatigue

  • Judgement issues

  • Altered behaviour

Can a mild brain injury cause psychiatric problems?

Mild brain injuries can cause severe psychological reactions or trigger the symptoms of a previously existing psychiatric disease. Brain injuries cause biochemical disruptions which have been related to brain injuries. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can also be impacted by a mild brain injury.

A psychiatrist needs to be made aware of the trauma before they recommend a course of action to the patient.

When are mild brain injury symptoms present?

There are two kinds of mild brain injury symptom: those which occur in the immediate aftermath of the injury and those which occur after this phase.

The symptoms of a mild injury which can occur immediately after a brain injury include:

  • Headaches

  • Nausea

  • Dizziness

  • Confusion

  • Agitation

  • Disorientation

  • Amnesia

  • Fatigue

The second set of symptoms occurs when the patient attempts to return to their pre-injury lifestyle. These symptoms are cognitive, emotional and physical. They can be difficult to manage and delay the patient’s reintegration into their old lifestyle.

Is concussion a mild brain injury?

A concussion is a temporary injury, but some concussive injuries can cause mild brain injuries due to the tearing of nerve fibres in the brain. These injuries aren’t always picked up by a CAT scan. In fact, when a person does not lose consciousness, a full neurological exam may never take place.

Can the symptoms of a mild brain injury be faked?

It would be extremely hard to fake the symptoms of a brain injury and maintain a consistent pattern of cognitive deficits. There are tests to determine the legitimacy of neuropsychological or psychiatric conditions.

Can a mild brain injury be treated with rehabilitation?

Yes, a program of neurological rehabilitation can place strategies in place to manage an injury patients cognitive problems and also help them to deal with psychological or emotional changes caused by their physical problems.

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