Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

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Dr. Kathy Maupin and Brett Newcomb discuss a condition known as Traumatic Brain Injury. They discuss how this condition can come about and what the symptoms and results are of those that suffer from it.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is one of the most common injuries among the elderly because of the issue of falling. Approximately 65% of all traumatic brain injuries come from falling. You may also hear more about injuries from sporting events, especially during the High School, College, and NLF football seasons.

One of the terms associated with TBI that is often used is Traumatic Encephalopathy, which is commonly called “punch drunk syndrome.” This term has been used a lot when referring to boxing and all of the injuries that boxers received because of repeated hard blows to the head. It is even possible for babies to receive TBI as a result of a difficult delivery and the pressure of the forceps, or from falling out of bed.

In addition to experiencing damage to the brain, it is not uncommon for the individual to begin to show the signs of depression and eventually, dementia. Another common condition is memory loss. When you experience brain injury, you can experience amnesia and short-term recall problems. These eventually may get better, but they often do not.

One treatment for the memory loss and the depression that may help is the addition of human growth hormone. HGH use is carefully regulated by the government because of misuse by athletes and their trainers, and even some doctors. There are restrictions on who can give the hormone as a treatment and the reasons it can be administered.
As a result of some TBIs, the victims experience personality changes for the worse; they become more angry (sometimes explosively). These injuries can lead to lots of problems in their relationships with their families. Also, individuals that experience a TBI are prone to prolonged brain trauma later in life. For example, NFL players experience Alzheimer’s 19 times more often than the general population since TBIs are much more common among that demographic.

Other issues—besides personality changes, depression, anger explosions, and Alzheimer’s—that athletes have as a result of TBI are problems with sequencing, loss of simple movement of various body parts, and loss of spontaneity in interactions with others. They lose flexibility in their thinking patterns and have problems staying focused. Issues with attention are common. Some lose hand-eye coordination, and you can imagine the difficulties with that for someone that was once a world class athlete.

There are things we can do to reduce our risks, like wearing helmets when we ski or ride bikes. We can intervene with treatments that are known to help such as HGH and testosterone replacement. We must take the issue seriously and
try and reduce the risks that we face from accidents.