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Mild Brain Injury

Mild Brain Injury

Mild brain injury (MBI) is a disease that is commonly caused by a significant blow to the head from a sports-related injury, motor vehicle accident, an accidental fall, or an assault. Although the vast majority of concussive injuries improve through natural recovery, some require medical, psychological and rehabilitative efforts to manage lingering symptoms. Other causes of MBI, such as a loss of oxygen to the brain, intracranial bleeding, or surgical procedures for an aneurysm or brain tumor, also require specialized interventions. In either case, the moderate changes that people experience in their thinking, emotional or physical abilities may create feelings of worry and demoralization.


The Mild Brain Injury Program is designed to rehabilitate individuals who have sustained a recent brain injury or to work with those whose longstanding MBI-related symptoms have not resolved. Best outcomes occur when MBI is treated immediately, clear information is provided and consistent follow-up services are offered. However, for those who have not received such care and have lingering symptoms, much can be done to improve their daily functioning.


The following are problems that people may experience after a mild brain injury:


  • Poor concentration
  • Memory problems
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Anxiety
  • Constant tiredness
  • Confused thinking
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Sleep disturbance


Those who have sustained an MBI may experience some or many of these changes, depending on the type and location of the brain injury. In most cases, these symptoms resolve naturally over time with rest and relaxation. However, not everyone recovers at the same rate or has the same outcome. One’s age and health status may affect recuperation. In addition, having sustained previous concussions complicates the healing process. Doctors who treat brain injuries agree that the most important factor in patients' recuperation is that they receive MBI education that improves their understanding of the recovery process and how to manage symptoms. The benefit of early detection and management of MBI symptoms cannot be overstated.


The Mild Brain Injury Program at Sinai Rehabilitation Center is designed to thoroughly diagnose and treat symptoms of MBI. Early in recovery, medical care focuses on promoting proper rest and sleep, reducing pain from headaches or other sources, managing visual changes, and treating balance issues for safety purposes. When this approach is followed, most people with MBI show significant improvement in concussion-related symptoms in the first month after injury.


For those individuals whose MBI symptoms do not improve after the first 4–6 weeks post-injury, much can still be done to promote recovery and restore function. Diagnostic clarity is critical in treating lingering symptoms of MBI. A slow recovery may be caused by the nature of the injury itself or the indirect effects of consistently poor sleep, visual changes or headaches. Psychological reactions to the trauma may also play a negative role in recovery from MBI.


Using a comprehensive diagnostic approach, the Mild Brain Injury Program assists patients in understanding the root causes of symptoms and provides a full complement of therapeutic options necessary for recovery. Our interdisciplinary treatment team works together to decide on a collaborative clinical approach and regularly reviews progress during team conferences. This information is also shared with patients to promote a clear understanding. The goal in MBI treatment is to improve an individual’s everyday life and allow them greater satisfaction in their pursuits.