Symptoms & Diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury

Date: January 2019

Author: Dr. Judy Tang

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) often results from a severe blow to the head or when an object penetrates the brain tissue causing damage. While mild traumatic brain injury (or concussion) may affect brain cells temporarily; serious traumatic brain injury (presenting as bruising, torn tissues, or bleeding) can result in long-term complications.

What are the Symptoms of TBI?

The severity of symptoms depends on whether the injury is mild, moderate or severe.

Traumatic Brain Injury symptoms (or concussion) may include:

  • Inability to remember the cause of the injury or events that occurred immediately before or after it happened.
  • Confusion and disorientation.
  • Difficulty remembering new information.
  • Headache.
  • Dizziness.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Ringing in the ears.
  • Trouble speaking coherently. 
  • Changes in emotions or sleep patterns.  

Mild traumatic brain injury symptoms are usually temporary and clear up within hours, days or weeks; however, on occasion, they can last months or longer.

Moderate traumatic brain injury causes unconsciousness lasting more than 30 minutes but less than 24 hours, and severe traumatic brain injury causes unconsciousness for more than 24 hours. Other commonly affected cognitive skills include the ability to pay attention, organise thoughts, planning & tasks as well as making sound judgments. 

traumatic brain injury checklist pdf download

People with TBI can also experience cognitive and physical changes. Click here for more information



Assessment by health care professionals can include:

  • Questions about the circumstances of the injury.
  • Assessment of the person's level of consciousness and confusion.
  • Brain imaging (CT, MRI, X-rays and ICP monitors)
  • Neurological examination to assess indicators of brain function.


How can Jurmaine Health help with TBI?

Jurmaine Health Neuropsychologists can investigate the cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects of the brain and provide detailed assessments that assist in diagnosing the cognitive impacts of a traumatic brain injury. The neuropsychology assessment will help plan treatment and provide a baseline so that changes can be compared to determine improvements or struggles over time.

Jurmaine Health Neuropsychology Assessments consist of an interview followed by a range of tests appropriate to the client’s requirements. Diagnosis of the extent of the brain injury are often determined through a range of imaging tests such as, computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), X-rays and intracranial pressure (ICP) monitors. Results from the assessment, examinations and imaging results are then used to create plans and/or recommendations for the individual to aid improvements and recovery.


Let us help you

Our caring team is here to help. Our services aim to help both your brain and body achieve optimal health. Contact our Neuropsychological & Neuromusculoskeletal team for effective advice, assessment and management of your concerns and issues.