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Q
Can I have a brain injury if the initial hospital tests showed me as being normal?

A

Typically the outermost portion of the brain is tested first. There are deeper areas of the brain that are called subcortical areas.  These are the areas that are designed for processing information and having different parts of the brain communicate with other parts of the brain.  Sometimes injuries to these subcortical sections do not show up until more complicated or complex tasks are done.  Obviously after initially being injured in a hospital a person is not required to do any complicated tasks. The staff, family, and friends help the patient.  It is only after a person returns home and everyone feels that they are back to "normal" that a person is expected to resume their normal day-to-day living.  A complicated task might be something as simple as balancing a checkbook, tying their shoes, or remembering where their keys were.   

Other complex tasks require different parts of the brain to operate together at any point in time.  These can be things such as balancing complicated hand activities involving dexterity, writing, engaging in conversations, and discussing what you did the other day.  There are also more complicated tests that involve memory perception and analysis. 

Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia