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Traumatic brain injury misconceptions abound

According to some reports, the treatment of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is commonly hampered by misconceptions about how such injuries occur and present themselves to observers. These misunderstandings persist although the combined incidence rate of multiple sclerosis, breast cancer, AIDS and spinal-cord injuries is only one-eighth as frequent as that of TBI.

One article says that TBIs don’t necessarily involve loss of consciousness or externally visible bleeding. These factors may make such injuries difficult to diagnose, and so could the fact that some brain injuries fail to present symptoms during structural imaging procedures, like CT scans and MRIs. Functional MRIs and PET scans may be more effective for concussion and TBI diagnosis, but these techniques are more commonly used in research settings than in clinical treatment.

Other common misconceptions include the idea that people who appear uninjured following injuries like blasts and impacts are in fact uninjured. Outward appearances won’t necessarily reveal the internal damage that characterizes TBIs, and some TBI victims don’t even realize they’re suffering. Even mild TBIs, however, can have serious physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral symptoms that compound each other and significantly impact a victim’s quality of life.

Traumatic brain injury sufferers may have to deal with life-changing personal circumstances. In some cases, TBIs might make it impossible to hold down jobs, or they might exacerbate other medical ailments. In addition, victims may have to pay for expensive diagnostic procedures in order to receive the appropriate medical and therapeutic treatments, which can also cost significant amounts of money. Although some insurance policies partially cover such expenses, the fact that TBIs remain poorly understood in general makes it advisable for victims and their families to research legal remedies like suing their caregivers for failure to diagnose.

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