There needs to be better definition of Traumatic Brain Injury subtypes


Enhancing Neurological Recovery Through Vision Rehabilitation

The NORA Weekly Digest of publications included this item in early August 2021;

Jessica Nye, PhD at reports the need for defining different TBI subtypes to find those individual who are at risk of long term effects.

In her commentary on the recently published study by Schwenkreis P, Gonschorek A, Berg F, et al (2), she states that the broadness of the definition of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) has led the authors come to this conclusion after a study of 3514 TBI patients from seven German hospitals.

The Traumatic Brain Injury classifications of Mild, Moderate or Severe encompass a broad range of patients.

At discharge, 22.3% said they were experiencing subjective symptoms such as headache (18.6%) and dizziness (10.2%).  13.1% had neurological deficits.

Most patients were discharged to home (69.6%), 12.4% to a rehabilitation unit, 7.5% to another acute hospital, and 4.1% to a nursing home.

But during a telephone interview at 12 months, 35.3% said they still had difficulties due to their TBI and 7.6% had changed their occupation because of their TBI.

This study was limited by its broad, simplified definition of TBI which included patients who had a head injury without any sign of brain dysfunction.

These data indicated that there were multiple types of TBI, likely indicating a need for defining distinct subgroups of TBI beyond the current Mild, Moderate or Severe classifications.

The hoped for gain would be that individuals who are at risk for long-term effects may be more easily identifiable.


1. Jessica Nye, PhD. Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Classification Encompasses a Broad Range of Patients - Neurology Advisor

2. Schwenkreis P, Gonschorek A, Berg F, et al. Prospective observational cohort study on epidemiology, treatment and outcome of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) in German BG hospitals. BMJ Open. 2021;11(6):e045771. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-045771