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What is a traumatic brain injury, and how will it affect you?

A traumatic brain injury can leave you with injuries from which you never fully recover. Things like light sensitivity, trouble walking, slurring your speech, and other issues are not uncommon with this kind of injury. A brain injury can happen anywhere; you could suffer from one at work in Ohio, at home, or while playing a sport.

Following your traumatic brain injury, also known as a TBI, you may be wondering what effects could occur. There are a range of injuries, both long- and short-term in nature, that can affect you. These fall into categories including sensation, language, thinking, and emotion.

Here's an example. If you suffer a TBI that affects your thinking, you may struggle with your short-term memory or have trouble remembering things that happened in the past. If you suffer a TBI that affects your emotions, you could have a personality change or suddenly become aggressive.

TBIs can also affect you physically by causing epilepsy in some cases. These seizures may not make the condition worse, but they could be permanent. Other conditions, like Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, may also be prevalent in people who have suffered TBIs due to the injuries suffered to the brain.

Repeated injuries over time, like concussions caused by playing a sport, can result in cumulative neurological problems. For example, suffering a concussion could cause you to lose your ability to balance well. If you were to play a sport and get another concussion before the other healed, that ability may be hindered again, and this time, it may not come back as easily. Over time, multiple TBIs can result in cumulative, permanent damage that requires assistance or medical care.

Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "What Are the Potential Effects of TBI?" accessed Mar. 16, 2015

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