Concussion = Brain Injury (revisited)

This post originally appeared in February of 2012, it is a good summation of the minutiae surrounding concussion.

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For years we in the medical community have been struggling with the terms “concussion” and “traumatic brain injury”; is there a difference?  The simple answer is no.  As you have seen on the blog, we use the term interchangeably, however just like anything in life semantics make a difference.  The perception of a “concussion” is that of sports and “not really that big of a deal”, and that would be horribly wrong.

As Broken Brain — Brilliant Mind posts today this injury is to the brain and confusion about semantics need to be cleared in order to gain a firm grasp on the issue at hand;

I’ve been giving a fair amount of thought to concussions over the past couple of years. In the course of my tbi rehab, my neuropsych has referred to my mild tbi’s as “concussions” and oddly, I never really thought of them that way. I’m not sure why I didn’t make the connection. I guess I thought, like so many others, that concussions are not that big of a deal — just a bump on the head. Getting your bell rung. Getting dinged. Big deal, right? Then, when my neuropsych talked about all the concussions I’ve had, the light went on.

My mild traumatic brain injuries were concussions. Concussion sounds a lot less dramatic than TBI, but essentially, it’s the same thing (I won’t go into the distinctions that SUNY-Buffalo Concussion Clinic people make).

By the way if you have not been going to BB–BM you should, as his/her perspective on dealing with brain injury is a massive resource.  Needless to say, whether you use the term “concussion” or “brain injury” the results Continue reading

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House Hearing on TBI

The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health spent some time on Monday holding a hearing on traumatic brain injury (TBI).  We all know that the spectrum of this injury can range from the severe to the mildest forms (mTBI) also know as concussions.  The government has been involved with TBI since 1996 funding further research and subsidizing awareness/education programs with the passage of the Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 1996;

What the Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 1996 Mandates

Public Law 104-166 charges CDC with implementing projects to reduce the incidence of traumatic brain injury. Specifically, the legislation mandates that CDC shall:

  • Develop a uniform reporting system for traumatic brain injuries.
  • Conduct research into the identification of effective strategies for preventing traumatic brain injury.
  • Implement public information and education programs for preventing TBI and for broadening public awareness about the public health consequences of TBI.
  • Provide technical assistance, either directly or through grants and contracts, to public or nonprofit entities for planning, developing, and operating projects to reduce the incidence of traumatic brain injury.
  • Present a report to Congress that describes the incidence and prevalence of traumatic brain injury.

Funding for all these activities was authorized at $3 million for each of the fiscal years 1997, 1998, and 1999.

The Act has been amended many times, the last, in 2008.

The House heard from witnesses about Continue reading