What is a Brain Injury?

A brain injury occurs when there is an impact or event that causes disruption of normal brain function. A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), occurs when something penetrates the brain, or when there is a blow or jolt to the head or body which causes the brain to be injured. The leading cause of TBI is falls, followed by being struck by an object (such as a pedestrian getting hit by a car), motor vehicle crashes (car, motorcycle, ATV, etc.), and assault.

Brain Injuries are often classified by severity; mild, moderate, or severe. Many TBIs are mild, involving a disruption in normal functioning and a brief period of loss of consciousness or altered consciousness (disorientation, confusion, or being unable to follow simple commands). A mild TBI is also known as a concussion.

When someone sustains a mild traumatic brain injury, symptoms may be seen right away, or may develop over the course of several days. Symptoms may come and go throughout the day, and in some cases might start or get worse when the individual overdoes it.

A more severe injury (moderate or severe TBI) may involve a prolonged loss of consciousness or

even coma, bleeding in the brain, and nerve cell damage. Recovery from a severe TBI can take a long time and patients may not return to their previous level of functioning.

Click here to learn more about symptoms of a brain injury.

Recovery from a brain injury looks different for everyone

The rate and amount of recovery depends on the severity of the injury, how an individual functioned prior to an injury, his or her age, treatment that was received, and rehabilitation. Click here to learn more about TBI Rehabilitation and the services we offer to help people get back to what they love to do.

To learn more about the Traumatic Brain Injury Center, call the Traumatic Brain Injury Coordinator at 612-873-3284.

If you are a provider or a family member and wish to refer a patient to our TBI Outpatient Program, call 612-873-6663.

To refer a patient to the Miland E. Knapp Rehabilitation Center for inpatient acute rehab, call 612-873-3585.

To learn more about our Pediatric Brain Injury Program, call 612-873-2259.

For a pocket-sized guide you can keep on hand or carry with you, check out, Things to Look for After You Hit Your Head. Also available in Spanish and Somali.