What is TBI?
Simply put, TBI, or traumatic brain injury, happens when sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. This can be when the head suddenly or violently hits or is hit by an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters the brain. Symptoms vary depending on the extent of the damage to the brain.
What are some symptoms of TBI?
Symptoms can include headaches, vision and hearing problems, sleep problems, memory problems, slower thinking, irritability, and depression. Scientists have found a link between multiple TBIs and conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
How many Veterans are affected?
The Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence (formerly Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center) reports that between 2000 and 2019, over 414,000 military personnel suffered TBI. Over 185,000 Veterans have been diagnosed with at least one TBI.
I heard there is a connection between TBI and PTSD. Tell me more.
A 2020 study led by the VA San Diego Health Care System found that Veterans and service members with TBI are more likely to also have PTSD. Both TBI and PTSD can cause changes in the part of the brain that processes emotions such as fear, anxiety, and anxiety.
What options are there for those dealing with TBI and their loved ones?*
Thankfully, there is hope and support.
- Organizations like Team Foster help to partner service dogs with veterans living with TBI. Fact: Service Dogs Save Lives.
- Rehabilitation and medications, available both through the VA and in the private sector.
- Veterans Crisis Line
- Apps, such as
- Max Impact – Incorporating the knowledge that Service Animals Save Lives, this app uses Max (a virtual service dog) to empower service members, Veterans, and others being impacted by TBI. Tools help with managing symptoms, relaxation, and support. No identifiable data is collected.
- Insomnia Coach – Designed for service members and Veterans with insomnia, including insomnia from TBI. No identifiable data is collected.
- VetChange – Designed for those worried about how their alcohol use relates to stress. No identifiable data is collected.
- Mindfulness Coach – Designed to help practice mindfulness to assist with PTSD and TBI symptoms. No identifiable data is collected.
*Team Foster has no affiliation with the providers, organizations or businesses mentioned. This is not an endorsement of these services.