Study Finds Traumatic Brain Injuries More Common Than Once Thought

Scientists and medical professionals understand a lot more about the long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries now than they did even just a few years ago. However, until recently, most didn't have a good understanding of how frequently these injuries occur.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic recently took on this issue, and their findings show that traumatic brain injuries occur much more frequently than was previously thought.

The researchers devised a new method for classifying head injuries into categories of "definite," "probable" and "possible" TBI, based on patients' reports of symptoms including unconsciousness, dizziness or nausea.

They then used this method to review a collection of medical records that spanned several decades. In doing so, they found that TBIs may occur in as many as 558 per 100,000 people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously estimated the rate to be about 341 per 100,000 people. Approximately 60 percent of the brain injuries the Mayo Clinic researchers identified fell outside of the CDC's standard categorization metrics.


Traumatic brain injuries can occur when the head strikes a hard surface or when a deceleration-type injury causes the brain to move around inside the cranial cavity. They are frequently seen in motor vehicle accident victims and in athletes who play contact sports.

The researchers found that some groups of people like men and the elderly are more at risk for TBIs than others. Young people, however, were more likely to report symptoms that indicated a "possible" brain injury.


In the wake of the findings, many are beseeching the CDC to revise its brain injury classification system. They hope that a better understanding of TBI frequency will translate to more effective methods for preventing and treating brain injuries.

The findings should also serve as a reminder to all of us that brain injuries aren't always obvious after an accident. If you are concerned that you or a loved one may have suffered a brain injury - for example, because you are experiencing nausea, headaches, dizziness or unexplained changes in mood or cognition - be sure to seek help from a medical professional.


    Attorney Tor and the whole team at Spangenberg Shibley & Liber, including the receptionist, made me feel welcome, comforted, and confident throughout my case. They showed me respect and kindness from start to finish.

    - Zandra S.

    I was feeling uncertain but after I met with Nick I felt at ease & confident. Communication was great, I was constantly informed and everyone was genuine & compassionate.

    - Sonja S.

    Coming in, we were unsure if we had a case. After meeting with Peter Brodhead, we were very confident with him. I was always comfortable because everyone was professional and friendly.

    - Elaine B.

    I liked the professionalism, efficiency, and thoroughness of your team efforts. I would like Sheila Schebek recognized for her knowledge of account details as quickly as I presented questions. She provided confidence and security in all matters.

    - John S.

    Before I called you, I felt awful & depressed when I heard about cancer. After I called you and discussed, I felt better knowing that this law firm cared for me. They were very kind and well communicated with me.

    - Gary S.

Put Award-Winning
Trial Lawyers On Your Side

Contact Our Team for a Free & Confidential Case Evaluation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.