The NFL has been under a microscope for its handling of head injuries, casting bright spotlight on concussions; but, professional athletes aren't the only ones who should be concerned. Everyone is at risk for a traumatic brain injury.

Regena Young suffered a moderate traumatic brain injury after a 1999 car accident.

Regena Young says, "I was on the back roads and it was about 45 minutes to an hour before somebody found me."

Brain injuries often have a lasting impact. Patients can face problems lasting a few days to disabilities which may last the rest of their lives.

Regena Young says, "I have a lot of amnesia related to that event and there were a lot of you have to repeat questions, initially could not retain any short term memory."

The Chattanooga Area Brain Injury Association says it's important for people to know about prevention and that help is available. Statistics show that 1.4 million have suffered concussions. They held a conference this week to raise awareness.

Lisa Morgan, Chattanooga Area Brain Injury Association says, "The data does show brain injuries are continuing to increase but we are definitely having more discussions and awareness."

There were a number of speakers who shared their personal stories, including Channel 3's Julie Edwards. Her daughter suffered a brain injury that still impacts her today.

Doctors say there some key signs and symptoms of a brain injury that include:

  • You can't recall events prior to or after a hit or fall
  • Appearing dazed or stunned
  • Answering questions slowly
  • Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes   

Experts say awareness and prevention are key.

Lisa Morgan says, "Accidents are going to happen, but there are some things we can do to prevent it such as wearing a helmet and those types of things."