Written by Dr. Varshini Jayaraman,  Ph.D. | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Aug 10, 2020

Head Injury- An Overview

Head injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs due to sudden trauma to the head or brain, resulting in brain damage. It is the leading cause for disability among children and young adults. Although traumatic head injury can affect people of all ages, young adults between the age of 15 and 24 years and those above 75 years face an increased risk of head injury.

Brain Injury

The Brain Injury Association of America adopted the following definition of TBI in the year 1986 - 'Traumatic brain injury is an insult to the brain, not of a degenerative or congenital nature but caused by an external physical force, that may produce a diminished or altered state of consciousness, which results in an impairment of cognitive abilities or physical functioning. It can also result in the disturbance of behavioral or emotional functioning. These impairments may be either temporary or permanent and cause partial or total functional disability or psychosocial maladjustment'.

"Phineas Gage, a 25 year old, railway construction man was a quiet, well mannered, enthusiastic young man in pursuit of his dreams, until it all happened in 1848. The worker was busy packing an explosive powder into a packing rod (tamping iron), when a spark resulted in explosion, propelling the pointed rod (3-foo long) through his head. Just within a few seconds, the rod had penetrated his brain through the skull to exit the same by his temple. Dr. John Harlow who treated the victim for 73 days felt that he had very little chances of survival. To the surprise of the treating physicians, he survived the accident. However, became an obstinate, obscene, self-absorbed man following the accident. He continued to suffer from similar behavioral and personality problems until his death in 1861. "

This incident took place at a time when very little was known about the brain and it's function. Today, with our improved understanding of the brain anatomy and physiology, we are much more equipped to deal with traumatic brain injury. Yet a considerable number of people continue to lose their lives and survivors are left to suffer from devastating consequences.

Brain Injury

Every year, approximately 1.4 million people experience a head injury, out of which about 50, 000 individuals die. More than 230, 000 people, admitted each year in the hospital for TBI, survive the disaster and are left to cope up with different aspects of physical and mental stability. The following figure represents the magnitude of the public health problem only in the United States. The depth of the global burden then? We leave it to your imagination.

What is New in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

1. Mechanism for Altruistic Behavior among Veterans Identified

Understanding the brain mechanism of altruistic behavior can help promote positive social behaviors. The mechanism behind altruistic behavior among Vietnam war veterans with brain lesion has been identified, reveals a new study.

2. Can Mild Head Injury Really Worsen Headaches?

Mild or moderate head injury or Concussion that have led to hospitalizations are more likely to initiate headaches in individuals or even worsen their pre-existing or persistent headaches, compared to general population, finds a new study.

3. Can Brain Heal Itself After Head Injury?

What role does immune system have in recovery after the patient has had a concussion or head injury? It seems that brain's protective lining gets a little help from the immune system to fix the damage caused by head injury.

4. Mildest Of Concussions can Now be Detected by a Simple Blood Test

By checking the blood for plasma metabolic biomarkers, the scientists can classify acute mild traumatic brain injury from other head injuries more accurately. Small molecules might be clinically relevant biomarkers of mTBI. Six specific small molecules from blood plasma were discovered in a group of college athletes who had been diagnosed with concussions.


  1. Traumatic Brain Injury - (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/headandbraininjuries.html)
  2. Head Injuries - (http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/emergencies/head_injury.html)

Latest Publications and Research on Head Injury


TripleT Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Once I was about 9 in a half I was doing gymnastics class, and I was doing a back flip on a bar and i started hanging upside down then i feel and broke my neck, chipped my tooth, and broke a growth plate in my head. Now we are looking to have a surgery preformed because, the growth plate dips in my head and pokes my brain.

salah Sunday, February 7, 2010

i got hitt by my dad with a pole on the head that gave me a few months in rehab but i did forgiv my dad

jjjjj Friday, October 23, 2009

I was hit in the frontal lob of head by a van. Feeling head pain,snapping then followed by facial temperature change,sharp pain in eyes,numbness in head, mood swings,confusion,fatigue,pain in teeth and mouth hinge,compound words and slow thinking,slow responce.neck injury damaged nerve c-7, three damaged disks c-5,c-6,c-7, head muscle pain all of these last from hours to days to weeks. what do you think about my problem?

Dr Samie Ullah Sunday, January 4, 2009

it is one of the fields of medical profession which still requires most manpower and resources.

kiki is somthing you aint Saturday, November 22, 2008

It is something that you should not joke about. Seriously.

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