The Symptoms of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Can Sometimes Be Missed

“How even a small bump on the head can cause hidden brain damage” was the headline of an article in the Mail Online recently.  One million Britons go to hospital each year after bangs on the head according to the article, and some suffer from post-concussion syndrome when the residual effects of brain injuries continue to affect the victim long term. 

The symptoms of a mild, traumatic brain injury can include poor short-term memory, difficulty with finding words, lack of concentration, dizziness, fatigue, and struggling to make decisions or plans.  Symptoms like these are sometimes called post-concussion syndrome and, whilst they frequently resolve within a few weeks, they can last much longer, and may even be permanent.  The symptoms caused by a relatively trivial bump on the head can be quite severe and life-changing.  Hospital scans do not always reveal mild traumatic brain damage, which can make diagnosis difficult and cause frustration to the victim. 

The brain injury charity Headway - the Brain Injury Association wants GPs to improve in recognising the symptoms of a mild brain injury and to seek an early referral to an expert with the relevant skills, such as a neurologist or clinical neuropsychologist, so that a diagnosis can be made and relevant support provided.

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