home
RSS
March 13th, 2012
08:53 AM ET

What is traumatic brain injury?

A U.S. Army soldier is accused of killing 16 Afghan men, women and children in a house-to-house shooting rampage on Sunday. He could face the death penalty, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said.

The shooting has brought traumatic brain injury back into the news. Traumatic brain injury has become one of the signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, offered an explanation in a past story, which we've reposted here:

It’s called “traumatic brain injury” or TBI. It’s a blow, jolt or penetration to the head that can disrupt the normal functioning of the brain. It can happen anywhere and at anytime – during a fall, car crash or even rough sports. Concussions are a milder form of TBI.

One of the biggest causes are unexpected blasts from improvised explosive devices or IED’s. Their sheer force can literally rock the brain, even when wearing a helmet. The skull strikes a hard surface and the brain goes back and forth, like jello wiggling, and then begins to bruise from the swelling.

It’s important to remember that there’s a broad range of severity for TBI. Common symptoms include headaches, dizziness, sleep disorders, nausea or memory problems. In mild cases, a traumatic brain injury may present as headaches or occasional dizziness. More severe cases can involve complete memory loss, personality changes or even persistent vegetative state.

Today, the Army checks soldiers before and after deployment to identify TBI cases. But unlike an obviously severed limb, traumatic brain injuries are difficult to diagnose, sometimes only noticeable years after leaving the battlefield.

Unfortunately, there is no one way to treat TBI. Recovery depends on the severity of the case and varies from person to person.

Everything from talk therapy to rehabilitation to the use of drugs to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety are used. The good news is that mild cases often require little more than rest and over-the counter pain reliever.


Filed under: Brain • Concussion

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. terry

    Did we really need an article to tell us that tramatic brain injury is an injury to the head ? My, my, such breaking news !!

    March 13, 2012 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. JoJo

    LOL...good question .... its when you slaughter 25-30 people... right? 🙂

    March 13, 2012 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Gerg

    The article was lame. I think the article should have explored the ramifications of TBI on behavior and responsibility, and possible ideas on how to deal with some of the victims with severe deficits, and worse those like the Afghan shooter who became a danger to others because of his injury.

    March 13, 2012 at 17:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alfie Morley

      Here's a good resource for information about traumatic brain injuries if you're really interested in finding out more information. They also have a blog with articles, I was just reading one about how a causal link between TBI's and PTSD has been found. I guess that's not surprising necessarily, but it gives you an idea of what these soldiers are forced to endure..

      March 27, 2012 at 19:23 | Report abuse |
    • Alfie Morley

      http://www.traumaticbraininjury.net/faqs/

      March 27, 2012 at 19:23 | Report abuse |
  4. FactsRBad

    This is what Palin, Beck and Rush have had for years......

    March 13, 2012 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. ma & pa

    The article was concise and factual... flip comments aside. TBI, even one, is a bbiiiiaaacchhhaaah, and recovery can be a lifelong struggle for the injured person. Bad tempered family saying like "snap out of it" is equivalent to ranting on a paralyzed person to jump up and run. Just wrecks um worse.

    March 14, 2012 at 02:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. SFJD

    From a legal standpoint, I don't see why mental illness from TBI needs to be treated differently from any other mental illness, for the purpose of the insanity defense: http://lawblog.legalmatch.com/2012/03/15/people-traumatic-brain-injury-criminally-culpable/

    March 15, 2012 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dewi

      Rich .. Let me first start by saying thank you for your secivre. Second let me apologize for all those that did not know better. Third I would ask you not to begrudge your fellow vets, as in a fire fight luck is in the draw of the cards or if you believe divine intervention. Any help for any vet should be embraced. While I can understand how speaking your peace may have made you feel better I would almost guarantee if you were to see any of the K9 s make a difference in the life of a fellow vet you would also feel better. I came to this site looking for information to assist other vets with this possibility. I am glad to have found these resources, having read every one of the posts yours was the one I felt compelled to respond to. Again a heart felt thanks to you and all the others who returned and were afraid to wear the uniform of their county. I do find peace in knowing you made a connection with a soul that does not know how to judge.. a K9 Peace be with you Brother.

      July 3, 2012 at 00:53 | Report abuse |
  7. Susan

    TBI is not a mental illness, it's physical damage to the brain.

    March 25, 2012 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Pretty

    Becki,My name is Rebecca Bosworth and I am a graduate sudnett at California State University Fresno. My degree is in Social work. I want to do my thesis project of Veterans with PTSD who have therapy dogs. I am having difficulty getting Veterans information from the therapy dogs corporations. My project would require a Veteran to fill out a anonymous questionnaire, regarding how their therapy dogs have helped them with their PTSD. would you be willing to participate in my project? School starts next Monday and I will be working on the particulars soon. this is a very important issue for me and I would like to be able to continue it. My father is a Marine Viet Nam Veteran and is involved in the military funerals in our mountain community. If you are willing to communicate with me by e-mail, my address isIf not, I wish you well and thank you so much for your service to our country. God Bless and thank you for sharing your story.Rebecca

    July 3, 2012 at 02:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. zortilonrel

    Fantastic web site. A lot of useful info here. I?¦m sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks to your effort!

    http://www.zortilonrel.com/

    February 6, 2021 at 01:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. zortilo nrel

    Thank you for your own effort on this website. Ellie really likes setting aside time for research and it's easy to understand why. Most people learn all relating to the dynamic manner you convey vital ideas via this website and even increase participation from others on that area and our child is certainly understanding so much. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the year. You are always conducting a superb job.

    http://www.zortilonrel.com/

    February 7, 2021 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. http://www.fokuszpalyazat.hu/kezdolap/akar-60-millios-tamogatas-vallalkozasok-fejlesztesere

    I've been surfing on-line more than 3 hours nowadays, but I by no means found any interesting article like yours. It?¦s beautiful worth sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the web will be much more helpful than ever before.

    http://www.fokuszpalyazat.hu/kezdolap/akar-60-millios-tamogatas-vallalkozasok-fejlesztesere

    February 9, 2021 at 04:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Europa-Road traktor szállítás

    I dugg some of you post as I cerebrated they were very beneficial very useful

    https://europa-road.eu/hu/traktor-szallitas.php

    February 9, 2021 at 04:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. House Clearance Cardiff

    I'm really enjoying the theme/design of your web site. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems? A handful of my blog readers have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari. Do you have any suggestions to help fix this issue?

    http://www.dumpawaste.co.uk

    February 9, 2021 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. froleprotrem

    I like this weblog so much, saved to my bookmarks.

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    February 19, 2021 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Myles Huft

    This web site is really a walk-through for all of the info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll definitely discover it.

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    March 24, 2021 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Jared Mckercher

    he blog was how do i say it… relevant, finally something that helped me. Thanks

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    March 25, 2021 at 03:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. buy alprostadil cream online

    aloprostadil https://alprostadildrugs.com/ how to get alprostadil injection

    April 12, 2021 at 05:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. best viagra pills 25 mg canada pharmacy

    can you buy viagra over the counter in canada? https://canadaviagrastore.com/ best viagra pills 25 mg canada pharmacy

    April 16, 2021 at 07:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. sildenafil online mexico

    sildenafil citrate tablets ip 100 mg https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil mexico price

    April 20, 2021 at 05:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. canadian diet pills

    canadian customs pills vitamins https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian weight loss pills

    April 21, 2021 at 04:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. generic for zithromax

    how to take zithromax https://zithromaxes.com/ zithromax antibiotic

    April 21, 2021 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. buy vardenafil

    does canada sell generic vardenafil https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil grapefruit interaction

    April 23, 2021 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. buy tadalafil us

    tadalafil max dose https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil pills 20mg

    April 26, 2021 at 04:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. chloroquine side effects

    chlooquine https://chloroquineorigin.com/ clorquine

    April 28, 2021 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. viagra prices canada

    canada cheap viagra https://canadaviagrastore.com/ how to buy teva sob for viagra in canada

    April 28, 2021 at 18:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. canadian diet pills

    canadian pills online https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian customs pills vitamins

    April 30, 2021 at 06:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. priligy

    dapoxetine ed buy priligy uk

    May 7, 2021 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Connie Mcelhinny

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://lostbiro.com/blog/?paged=30

    May 10, 2021 at 09:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Joe Lauretta

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusuf-hanafy-82493b183

    May 11, 2021 at 21:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. cyclomune

    buy cyclosporine uk Cyclomune eye drops 0.05%

    May 15, 2021 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. brimonidine

    combigan generic prices brimonidine how it works

    May 16, 2021 at 02:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. storno brzinol

    I like this post, enjoyed this one appreciate it for posting.

    http://www.stornobrzinol.com/

    May 16, 2021 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Eden Hardin

    I don't know about you people but I infatuated with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/12/open-letter-to-private-boeing-747-8-and-boeing-787-buyers/

    http://privatejetstoday.blogspot.com/2010/08/private-jet-flight-attendant-jobs.html

    May 16, 2021 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. avanafil

    avanafil dose buy avana

    May 16, 2021 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Shantel Truan

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2003/11/

    May 17, 2021 at 06:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Kasey Antaya

    I don't know about you all but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/11/official-word-from-boeing-on-the-787-dreamliner-za002s-incident/

    http://mastersprogrambest.blogspot.com/2013/09/national-security-masters-programs_20.html

    May 17, 2021 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.