Skip to Main Content

We have a new app!

Take the Access library with you wherever you go—easy access to books, videos, images, podcasts, personalized features, and more.

Download the Access App here: iOS and Android. Learn more here!

For further information, see CMDT Part 24-18: Head Injury

Key Features

  • Cognitive impairment tends to affect frontal and temporal lobe function, causing deficits in

    • Attention

    • Memory

    • Judgment

    • Executive function

  • Behavioral dysregulation, depression, and disinhibition can impair social functioning

  • Anosmia, presumably due to shearing of fibers from the nasal epithelium, is common

  • Severity ranges from concussion to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI)

    • Concussion is broadly defined as an alteration in mental status caused by trauma with or without loss of consciousness

    • The term "concussion" is often used synonymously with mild TBI

    • Grades of TBI are traditionally defined by the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score measured 30 minutes after injury (Table 24–7)

  • Head trauma may cause cerebral injury through a variety of mechanisms (Table 24–8)

  • There appears to be an association between head trauma and the later development of neurodegenerative disease, such as

    • Alzheimer disease

    • Parkinson disease

    • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy

    • Defined as repetitive, mild head injury (often seen in athletes or military personnel)

    • Distinct pathologic entity associated with mood and cognitive changes

    • Characterized by the abnormal aggregation of tau or other proteins either focally or globally in the cerebral cortex

Table 24–7.Glasgow Coma Scale.1
Table 24–8.Acute cerebral sequelae of head injury (listed in alphabetical order).

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.