"Army Wives" Supports Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Awareness

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an important public health issue with far-reaching consequences that impact the daily lives of those injured, as well as the lives of their families and communities. Talk about brain injury awareness on Facebook.

    TBI is caused by a bump, jolt or blow to the head that disturbs the normal function of the brain, and it can happen to anyone. Among civilians, an estimated 1.7 million deaths, hospitalizations and emergency-department visits related to TBI occur annually in the United States; that's more people with TBIs each year than the total populations of Dallas and Miami combined. In addition to injury, a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report shows that nearly a third of all injury-related deaths in the United States involve TBI. Not only do TBIs contribute to this substantial number of injury deaths, but they also cause permanent disability for many Americans.

    Prevention Is Key

    Take care to prevent situations that could potentially result in a TBI, such as:

    • Falls in older adults and children
    • Motor vehicle crashes — teen and older adult driver safety
    • Concussions in high school and youth sports
    • Assault on children and older adults

    To find out more about the CDC Injury Center's work to prevent TBI-related injuries, visit: CDC Injury Center: TBI Prevention.

    Early Diagnosis Can Save Lives

    The signs and symptoms of a TBI can range from mild to severe and include:

    • Thinking/remembering — feeling mentally "foggy" or having difficulty remembering recent events
    • Physical — headaches, or difficulty with bright lights or loud noises
    • Emotional/mood — irritability, sadness, or nervousness
    • Sleep disturbances — sleeping more or less than usual

    For more information on early signs and symptoms, visit CDC Injury Center: Concussion Recognition.

    Traumatic Brain Injury in the Military

    The frequent use of improvised explosive devices in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars has increased the chance that service members will be exposed to bomb blasts that lead to TBI and other injuries. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Defense reported that seven out of 10 TBIs resulted from a blast.

    The U.S. Army reports that 88 percent of TBIs among soldiers are mild (mTBI); however, the effects of mTBIs can be serious, and some individuals experience symptoms for weeks, months, years or longer. As challenging as coping with the effects of TBI can be for the injured service member, it can be equally life-altering for their loved ones and caregivers.

    For resources and tools for military service members and veterans with TBI and for their families and caregivers, visit www.traumaticbraininjuryatoz.org.

    To learn more about efforts to ensure that military service members and veterans with TBI receive the best evaluation, treatment and follow-up, please visit the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center at: www.dvbic.org.


    Complete rest for both the mind and the body are recommended in early stages as pivotal for TBI recovery.

    After sustaining a TBI, the brain needs complete cognitive rest (no reading, no watching television or playing video games, no crosswords, etc.) and physical rest in the early stages of recovery. Returning to activity — whether work, school, sports or leisure — too soon, or to activity that may put a person at risk of sustaining a repeat TBI, can lead to more serious and permanent health consequences.

    For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and specifically the CDC Injury Center.

    Additional resources include: