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The 3 levels of brain injury

If you or a loved one suffers any type of brain injury, regardless of the cause, it is important to understand exactly what happened. This starts with knowing the three levels of brain injury.

-- Mild traumatic brain injury. While it may not be as serious as the other two levels, it brings on a variety of symptoms such as a brief loss of consciousness and a change in mental status, such as confusion or dizziness, at the time of injury.

-- Moderate traumatic brain injury. This is typically the result of a harsh blow to the head, such as in a motor vehicle accident. Some of the symptoms include loss of consciousness that can last several hours, confusion that lasts days to weeks and cognitive and mental impairments.

-- Severe brain injury. Usually caused by a penetrating wound or crushing blow, this is the most life-threatening of the three levels. A severe brain injury can be accompanied by many serious conditions, such as an open head injury with damage to the skull. This type of injury can also lead to seizures and an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Even if you do your best to protect your head at all times, such as by purchasing a vehicle with the best safety equipment, you don't know if something could go terribly wrong. Each level of brain injury is serious and is treated in its own unique way.

Understanding these levels of injury can go a long way in ensuring that you or a loved one receives the appropriate treatment.

Source: Brain Injury Alliance, "Types and Levels of Brain Injury," accessed Nov. 11, 2015

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