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Each year, TBIs cause 2.5 million emergency room visits, and so far research has consistently shown that they're more common among boys than girls.Girls still get them, though, and often in sports like soccer, basketball and cheerleading."We are really limited to self-reporting, and women are more honest about their symptoms than boys."Girls get TBIs most often playing soccer and basketball, but other sports—cheerleading, in particular—have very high risk for injuries.Most traumatic brain injuries result in damage to the brain because the brain ricochets inside the skull during the impact of an accident. In his absence I not only had to deal with our son's and daughter's confusion and my own grief at the potential loss of the marriage and husband I'd known, but to confront my fears and inadequacies as "the wife of a brain-damaged man." One thing that is very much missing from the treatment protocol of brain injury -- traumatic or mild -- is guidance and assistance not only to the injured party but to their families, as well.
These studies began when Professor Roger Wood a head injury specialist at the University of Swansea in Wales, UK, noticed a recurrent problem with many of his TBI patients; a loss of emotional attachment with friends and family. We struggled with our careers, wrestled with money, had good times and bad. He has to wear hearing aids now and cannot hear well enough inside his head to sing or play guitar, yet he can no longer go to clubs to listen to music because the volume is intolerable; the same with movies and sporting events. "MTBI," they called it -- mild traumatic brain injury. Who, even after being hit by a car as a pedestrian and breaking all sorts of bones and body parts years before, had healed quickly enough that a walking trip through Spain was doable only a year later. Though the cognitive struggles have improved significantly, allowing him to continue and rebuild his law practice (which suffered in the first year after the injury), and though the extreme nature of the head pain has subsided enough on a day-to-day basis that he's once again able to enjoy many aspects of his life, the landscape of his existence -- and ours as a couple, a family -- has changed significantly.Scientists are trying to understand the different sources of relationship problems after brain injury and figure out ways to address them.Why does it become more difficult for many persons with brain injury to develop and maintain relationships?