Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injury - Minnesota Department of Health

Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a disruption of the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury. While everyone is at risk for a TBI, children and older adults are especially vulnerable. Spinal cord injuries (SCI) describe injuries to the spinal cord. Symptoms of SCI can include partial or complete loss of sensory function or motor control of the arms, legs or body. In severe cases, SCI can affect bladder and bowel control, breathing, heart rate and blood pressure.

Read more on traumatic brain injuries and concussions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tracking traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries

Minnesota statutes require the Minnesota Department of Health to maintain a database of all hospitalized cases of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. These data can be used to better understand the prevalence of TBI and SCI so we can work to prevent it. The Injury and Violence Prevention Section analyzes the data in the registry to determine appropriate community-specific intervention strategies and to identify service needs and gaps.

For recent data on traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, search the Minnesota Injury Data Access System (MIDAS).

For TBI/SCI data from 1993 through 2009, email

Helping Minnesotans find assistance

In addition to tracking TBI/SCI data, the Injury and Violence Prevention Section sends a letter to all persons who have been reported to MDH with a TBI or SCI, with information about helpful Minnesota resources. You may access resources and services that can help people with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries at Minnesota services and agencies.

Getting Better after a Traumatic Brain Injury or Concussion

In this brochure, there is a checklist of signs and symptoms. The checklist can help guide conversations with a doctor or professional who knows about brain injury.

Additional Information

Contact Leslie Seymour, MD, MPH, Epidemiologist, Minnesota Department of Health

Learn about sports-related concussions in Minnesota high school athletes.

Updated Monday, 04-Feb-2019 13:52:47 CST