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Small-impact traumatic brain injury

Arizona parents, athletes and workers should be aware that despite the prevalence of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, reporting in the news, not every brain injury results from a major injury. Annually, about 1.7 million people are diagnosed with brain injury, and roughly 80 percent of these diagnoses are characterized as mild cases presenting as headaches and dizziness but not involving full-blown concussions. Due to the sensitivity of the brain, however, new research indicates that standards of "trauma" may need to be reduced significantly.

Brain injury is not caused by impact to the head or skull directly. Rather, the impact causes the brain to move within the skull and rebound off the inside. Researchers have determined that the brain moves at an oscillation rate of about 5 hertz, or cycles per second, when a person turns their head, but they believe that brain injury may occur at an oscillation rate of as little as 15 hertz.

Contact sports like football, rugby and others may increase the possible oscillation rate within a player's skull to around 20 hertz. The researchers in this study assert that even minor impacts can add up, leading to the same level of injury as a single hard tackle over the course of a football game. The study implies these effects may be cumulative, a fact the researchers say might influence future designs for protective athletic headgear.

In cases where concussion or brain injury are diagnosed, an attorney may begin by examining how the injury occurred as well as contributing factors that may have influenced the severity or duration of the injury. The attorney might then initiate a settlement demand and/or other legal proceedings to recover costs on the injured party's behalf. A typical settlement demand might include medical and rehabilitative costs and lost wages.

Source: Popular Science, "EVEN TINY BUMPS TO YOUR BRAIN CAN CAUSE TRAUMA OVER TIME ," Alexandra Ossola, June 9, 2015

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