An integrated review of recovery after mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI): implications for clinical management

Clin Neuropsychol. 2009 Nov;23(8):1368-90. doi: 10.1080/13854040903074652.


The diagnosis and treatment of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI)have historically been hampered by an incomplete base of scientific evidence to guide clinicians. One question has been most elusive to clinicians and researchers alike: What is the true natural history of MTBI? Fortunately, the science of MTBI has advanced more in the last decade than in the previous 50 years, and now reaches a maturity point at which the science can drive an evidence-based approach to clinical management. In particular, technological advances in functional neuroimaging have created a powerful bridge between the clinical and basic science of MTBI in humans. Collectively, findings from clinical, basic science, and functional neuroimaging studies now establish a foundation on which to build integrative theories and testable hypotheses around a comprehensive model of MTBI recovery. We review the current scientific literature on postconcussion symptom recovery, neuropsychological outcome, and neurophysiological healing after MTBI. Special emphasis is placed on how the new evidence base can help guide clinicians in the evaluation and management of military-related MTBI.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Recovery of Function*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Veterans
  • Warfare