Subtle Brain Injury

This is a description for brain injuries at the most subtle end of the spectrum. Often the person will appear completely uninjured, only close friends and family will notice the cognitive and behavioural symptoms. Often the injured person is able to continue to work full time for months or even years before finally collapsing from cumulative fatigue.

There is no scan that is capable of detecting this subtle damage because it is usually too microscopic to be seen. Neuropsychological testing can be normal because the tests are poor at detecting damage to executive function which is often the area of the brain most greatly affected.

It is perhapsĀ of no surprise that these cases are so aggressively defended by insurers. In our experience their experts often perform substandard clinical examinations that enable them to conclude that there is nothing or very little wrong with the patient. We are very familiar with this approach and skilled in undermining substandard methodology where it is used.

What are the common symptoms of brain injury?

Cognitive Symptoms Emotional and Behavioural Symptoms Physical Symptoms
Short term memory Disinhibited temper Dizziness / sickness
Concentration Impulsive spending patterns Persistent headaches
Difficulty learning new information Disinhibited behaviour Persistent cumulative fatigue
Word finding / fluency Lack of insight Visual disturbance including light sensitivity
Difficulty multitasking Anxiety and depression Noise sensitivity
Difficulty problem solving Impulsivity Change in sense of smell or taste
Slower speed of thought Change in sexual drive / function Difficulty with fine coordination
Difficulty under pressure Loss of motivation

The above list is typical of the more subtle brain injuries. With the more severe injuries additional physical problems may present to include physical disability, significant speech problems and epilepsy.