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Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (MTBI)

In what are often called “Mild” Traumatic Brain Injuries or “MTBI’s” there may be no visible bleeding at all, or only micro-vascular bleeding too small to show up on an MRI or CT.  The lack of a frank bleed in the brain, and a lack of a long period of unconsciousness, are the main reasons these are classified as “mild.”  Often the short and long term consequences are more severe than those cases in which a bleed in the brain occurs.

In MTBI cases, there is “shearing” of the axons in the brain. This disrupts the normal exchange of nutrients, ions and neuro-transmitters in the brain.

MTBI – Most Underdiagnosed and Undertreated Brain Injury

So-called “Mild” Traumatic Brain Injuries, which makes up approximately 80% of all cases of TBI, never produce a visible abnormality on CT or MRI. This is because the tissue damage occurs on the cellular level, which is visible only under the microscope and is widely diffused, leaving blood vessels and major structures intact. With patients who live and therefore are not examined by microscope, the failure of mild TBI to appear on either MRI or CT, results in it being one of the nation’s most seriously underdiagnosed and undertreated conditions.

MTBI and Sense of Smell

Many victims of MTBI lose their sense of smell (a condition called anosmia) because their olfactory nerve (Cranial Nerve I) is damaged by being rubbed between the base of the frontal lobes and the rough bony shelf beneath it called the “cribiform plate.” Yet this injury does not show up on conventional neuro-imaging like MRI and CT. We know this happens, because of autopsy findings on such patients when they die of unrelated causes. And for those survivors of MTBI, we know that many lose their sense of smell.

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For more information, or to schedule an appointment with an experienced brain injury lawyer, please contact us. The phone call, and the initial lawyer consultation are both free.