Utah Experts Discuss Best Ways to Treat Brain Injuries

(KCPW News) Brain injuries are an everyday occurrence in Utah.  Thursday, more than 300 professionals and people closest to the issue met at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy for the 23rd Annual Family and Professionals Conference. Ron Roskos, Executive Director of the Brain Injury Alliance of Utah, says 56,000 Utahns are living with a long-term disability caused by brain injury.

“I think so many people think, you know a football game, a guy gets hit, gets knocked out or whatever, or dizzy … he’ll be fine in a minute. But, sometimes that minute is not going to happen,” Roskos said.  “He’s not going to get better. Down the road, there could be some long term issues that happen.”

Roskos says Thursday’s conference is an effort to teach about behavioral strategies, recreational opportunities, and the best way to form partnerships between families, schools and the community. Tools that Whitney Levano  with the Utah Department of Health says are useful no matter how severe someone’s injury might be.

“There are three classifications, mild, moderate and severe,” said Levano. “And because your brain is pretty much involved in everything you do, depending on what part of your brain you injure, it’s going to be a whole gamut of symptoms. But, no matter what the symptoms are, there is help out there and there are treatments and there are things to do to adjust to that new normal.”

Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury. Rates are highest for children from zero to four years, and for adults 75 years and older.