Traumatic Brain Injury


Traumatic Brain Injury

Every year, nearly 200,000 people, including children and teens, visit the emergency room for treatment of a recreational- or sports-related traumatic brain injury (TBI). While the degree of a TBI can vary, they are always serious. The experienced pediatric neurology team at THINK Neurology for Kids, with offices in The Woodlands, Katy, Sugar Land, and Austin, Texas, specializes in the management of TBIs in children and teens. With short wait times for appointments, call the office nearest you or click the online booking button and see a specialist within a few days.

Traumatic Brain Injury Q & A

What is a traumatic brain injury (TBI)?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) refers to any type of injury that affects the brain. This includes a blow to the head, jolt to the body, or an object that gets embedded in the brain. A concussion is a TBI.

Mild traumatic brain injuries can lead to brain cell damage, while more severe traumatic brain injuries can cause bruising, bleeding, or physical changes to the brain. The degree of brain damage can vary significantly between a mild and severe TBI; however, the risk of permanent damage to the brain can occur no matter the severity of the injury. 

Children and teens are especially vulnerable to brain damage following a TBI and can take longer to recover than adults. 

What are TBI symptoms?

Traumatic brain injury symptoms vary depending on the severity of the injury. For a mild TBI, symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Difficulty sleeping or prolonged sleeping
  • Changes in behavior or personality
  • Memory loss
  • Sensitivity to light and/or sound
  • Difficulty concentrating

Your child may or may not lose consciousness from a mild TBI.

Even a mild TBI can be life-threatening for a child or teen and should receive immediate evaluation. 

For a moderate to severe TBI, symptoms may include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Convulsions
  • Weakness
  • Poor coordination
  • Difficulty waking
  • Confusion
  • Coma

You should seek emergency medical care if you suspect a moderate to severe TBI. 

What happens during a traumatic brain injury evaluation?

During a traumatic brain injury evaluation at THINK Neurology for Kids, a pediatric neurology specialist conducts a thorough evaluation to determine the degree of the brain injury. This may include:

  • Details of the injury
  • Review of symptoms
  • Discussion of medical history
  • Neurological testing
  • Physical exam
  • Diagnostic imaging (MRI, CT scan)

The advanced pediatric neurological practice also utilizes the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (ImPACT®) to evaluate the degree of brain injury. The test is then used during follow-up appointments to re-evaluate brain health and recovery. 

Based on the information gathered during the evaluation, your child’s doctor develops a treatment plan aimed at helping heal the brain as quickly and safely as possible. Even after a mild TBI, your child may need rest from physical and mental activities (reading, TV, and school) until symptoms subside.

For comprehensive traumatic brain injury care from the pediatric neurology experts, contact THINK Neurology for Kids by phone or online today.