Key Points: Although traumatic brain injuries involve brain-related symptoms, other organs including the immune system, GI system, lungs, and heart may also be compromised. These injuries can result in changes throughout the body that can increase morbidity and even mortality. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results from a head injury that damages the brain. Symptoms can include loss of consciousness, post-traumatic amnesia, memory loss, disorientation, and confusion. Symptoms occur immediately following the brain trauma and last for a while afterward. Psychiatric symptoms also may occur and include mood fluctuations, depression , anxiety , irritability, and personality changes. Other CNS (central nervous system ) symptoms such as dizziness, headache, tinnitus, light sensitivity, and decreased sense of smell can also occur. In an interesting paper recently published in Trends in Neurosciences, Alan Faden and colleagues discuss the consequences of TBI that involve organ systems other than the brain. They review evidence demonstrating that TBI can lead to significant changes in the immune, gastrointestinal (GI), pulmonary, and cardiovascular systems. These changes have been observed in humans and are being studied in animal models of TBI. TBI is associated with a high rate of infections. It causes complex changes in the immune system, both systemically… Read full this story
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