Help for Traumatic Brain Injury


A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain caused by an external force, such as a blast, motor vehicle accident or gunshot wound. No two brain injuries are the same — and TBI affects everyone differently. It can affect just about everything — the way you walk, talk, think and behave.

The Road Home Program can evaluate you for a TBI and help you cope with some of the psychological effects of your injury. We will also refer you to TBI specialists at Rush University Medical Center who have extensive experience in providing advanced medical care for these complex injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions About Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Sometimes symptoms of TBI appear immediately and other times you or your loved ones may not notice a change for several weeks. Depending on the severity of your injury, signs of a TBI may include the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty with attention
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings frustration
  • Sensitivity to lights and sounds
  • Speech problems

If you were dazed, confused or unconscious after a blast, fall or other injury, you should be screened for a TBI. You can be evaluated for a TBI in a number of ways, including the following:

  • Brain imaging: Brain imaging technologies, such as computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), single photo emission computed tomography and positron emission tomography, can be used to evaluate brain injuries.
  • Clinical evaluation: A thorough exam and injury history from a clinician who specializes in TBI is the gold standard of determining whether or not you have a TBI and establishing the severity of your injury.
  • Cognitive evaluation: These tests can reveal impairments in your thinking, memory and attention.
  • Military Acute Concussion Evaluation: This medical evaluation screens for concussion and symptoms and evaluates cognitive issues.

Your brain defines who you are. A TBI can cause physical challenges and changes in your personality. However, appropriate treatment can reduce their severity and decrease the chances that these changes are permanent.

Whether your injury is new or whether you’ve suffered for years, treatment can help. Depending on the severity of your injury, TBI treatment includes the following:

  • Medication
  • Hospital care
  • Language and speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Talk therapy

Hoping your symptoms will just go away won’t help. In fact, it’ll make things worse. When left untreated, TBIs can lead to significant impairments in your thinking, in your ability to communicate and in your emotional well-being. 

Although you are the one suffering with a TBI, your family is affected by your injury as well. When a TBI affects your personality, you may seem like a different person to your loved ones. They may be struggling with how to help you.

They may feel confused, frustrated and depressed that you seem different. At the center, we will include your family in your treatment and work with them to help them understand what’s going on. 

Come in for a visit at the center to find out more about TBI and how our team can help you.

The Brain Trauma Foundation


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“I knew something was wrong. I just didn’t know how to fix it.”

After the blast, I was just numb to everything, and everything at home seemed irrelevant. Even though I was at home, my mind was still in Iraq. It wasn’t until I thought about killing myself that I finally realized I needed to get help. I had to learn to acknowledge how I’m feeling and ground myself that things are OK.

Jeremy, Iraq veteran