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The Many Shades of Brain Injury

You probably think of a brain injury as an obvious and life-altering condition caused by cataclysmic events and fueling the plot for Nicholas Sparks novels. The good news is that, in reality, brain injuries do not always herald a permanent change in the way a person goes about their life—brain injury occurs on a spectrum, rather than on an either/or basis. The unfortunate news is that brain injury can occur more easily and in more ways than most people realize. Widespread understanding of brain injuries in Utah and elsewhere is limited to shallow knowledge of severe brain injury; and because people don’t often realize the many ways in which brain injury can arise, they don’t always take action when they should.

The effects of brain injury can range from temporary headaches, memory loss, and difficulty focusing to depression, personality changes, and seizures. Brain injury can stem from unexpected sources, such as a slip and fall, birth injuries, poisoning, and infections caused by the former. Symptoms can be difficult to detect immediately, and it may require an MRI or other scan to determine whether damage has occurred and to what extent.

Following any injury that causes one to be shaken, dizzy, “blacked out,” or otherwise affected north of the shoulders, a check-up can make all the difference. Speedy detection and treatment can make the difference between long-term diminishment of symptoms and possible exacerbation of problems. Even when the symptoms seem trivial, the possibility of worsening conditions is on the table. It is only by seeking medical attention promptly following an accident that you can know for certain whether the injury is, in fact, trivial or worthy of a second look.

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