No two brain injuries are alike, and different people may have different symptoms after an injury. Common symptoms include:

  • Amnesia (loss of memory)

  • Appearing dazed or stunned

  • Confusion

  • Lack of coordination

  • Loss of consciousness for any length of time

  • Changes in mood, behavior or personality

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

  • Sensitivity to light or sound

  • Depression

Next steps

If you suspect someone has a traumatic brain injury, seek help from a qualified medical professional. Go to the emergency room or to your primary care provider, as soon as possible.

Most people who sustain concussions recover after a few days or weeks, but for about 15 percent of people who get a concussion, it results in a chronic condition that can cause or accelerate a broad range of physical, cognitive and behavioral diseases and disorders. People experiencing these issues may need accommodations for symptoms at school, work and home. Treatment for these people may involve rehabilitative therapy and medication.

Contact sports?

To decide whether or not to let your child play contact sports, evaluate the people responsible for safety during practice and games, examine the concussion protocols for your state and find out if the protocols are being followed. Always wear properly-fitted helmets that meet current standards when playing any sports or engaging in recreational activity.

Preventing TBI?

Researchers are working to determine why some people have a better recovery after TBI than others. In the meantime, it is a good idea to practice common-sense prevention techniques.

In the car:

  • Use seat belts and infant and child safety seats

  • Obey speed limit

  • Never drink and drive or text and drive

At home:

  • Add lighting to dark areas

  • Add a second railing to stairways

  • Tape down throw rugs

At work:

  • Place heavy objectives on lower shelves

  • Keep floors dry

  • Avoid tall ladders

  • Wear head protection as needed