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General Information Regarding Traumatic Brain Injury

More than 1 million head injuries occur every year in the United States. 52,000 individuals die, and 800,000 persons have permanent disability from these injuries. These injuries cost more than $40 billion each year. Because head injuries (also known as traumatic brain injuries) are common, and may have devastating effects, preventing them is critical.

Traumatic brain injury is the result of a blow to the head. This can come from a fall (28%), a vehicle crash (20%), an assault (11%), or shaking a baby. The brain tissue itself may be hurt, the blood vessels can rupture and cause bleeding, or a combination of these injuries may occur. Concussion (a temporary loss of brain function), contusion (bruising of the brain), fracture (broken skull bones), and hematoma (blood clot) are all types of traumatic brain injury.

The CDC estimates that at least 5.3 million Americans, approximately 2% of the U.S. population, currently have a long-term or lifelong need for help to perform activities of daily living as a result of TBI.

TBI can cause a wide range of functional changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, and/or emotions. It can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease , and other brain disorders that become more prevalent with age.