About Traumatic Brain Injury
TBI is a brain injury that can happen from a bump or blow to the head or when an object goes through the skull and into the brain. No matter what type of TBI you have, damage to your brain happens right away. Later, you may develop seizures or brain swelling. Doctors treat these medical problems.
TBI can cause speech, language, thinking, and swallowing problems. These problems can affect you in school, at work, and in everyday activities. SLPs treat these problems.
How Is Brain Swelling Diagnosed
The steps used by your doctor to diagnose brain swelling depend on the symptoms and the suspected cause. Common exams and tests used in the diagnosis include:
- Head and neck exam
- CT scan of the head to identify the extent and location of the swelling
- MRI of the head to identify the extent and location of the swelling
- Blood tests to check for causes of the swelling
- Lumbar puncture
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Imaging For Tbi Diagnosis
The two most common types of imaging used to diagnose a brain injury are magnetic resonance imaging and computerized tomography . If severe injuries are not suspected, its often best to wait on neuroimaging to see how the patient progresses.
An MRI uses magnets and radio waves to look at soft tissue within the brain and the body. It is best used for detecting minor bleeding, tumors, excessive fluid, or even signs of dementia in the brain. It is not the best scan to start with immediately after a severe head injury. It might be done after the patient is more stable.
A CT scan uses X-ray beams and, if performed after a head injury, can detect bleeding, swelling, and skull fractures. In an emergency situation, a CT scan is most commonly ordered to determine if a patient needs to be watched or if emergency neurosurgery is necessary.
Neither a standard MRI nor a CT scan can detect a concussion, because they only detect structural problems within the brain. A concussion does not cause this type of problem. As we discussed earlier, a concussion damages the neurovascular coupling system within the brain. This type of dysfunction can be seen with functional MRI , which shows how blood flows through the brain in real time.
Where Can I Find A Neuro Rehab Center Near Me
At NeuLife Rehabilitation Center we are known as one of the best and TBI rehab centers in Florida and throughout the southeast. Our clinicians will treat a wide range of diagnoses with the ultimate goal of helping address physical and emotional implications after brain injury.
Our facility successfully helps patients through structured programming, including speech, physical therapy, medical care, skills development, nutrition and exercise, and mental health therapies, including CBT.
We can help patients to get their life back. If you would like more information about our services, do not hesitate to contact us today. Make a referral or give us a call at 800.626.3876.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.
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Symptoms Of Mild Tbi And Concussion
Some mild TBI and concussion symptoms may appear right away, while others may not appear for hours or days after the injury. Symptoms generally improve over time, and most people with a mild TBI or concussion feel better within a couple of weeks.
Symptoms of mild TBI and concussion may affect how you feel, think, act or sleep
Symptoms of mild TBI and concussion are different for each person. Symptoms may change during recovery. For example, you may have headaches and feel sick to your stomach earlier on. A week or two after your injury you may notice you feel more emotional than usual or have trouble sleeping.
Symptoms of mild TBI and concussion
Symptoms may be difficult to sort out as they are similar to other health problems
After a mild TBI or concussion:
- A person may not recognize or admit that they are having problems
- A person may not understand how the symptoms they are experiencing affect their daily activities
- Problems may be overlooked by the person with the mild TBI or concussion, family members, or healthcare providers
Seek immediate emergency medical care if you have danger signs
Danger signs in adults
Danger signs in children
- Have any of the danger signs for adults listed above
- Will not stop crying and are inconsolable
- Will not nurse or eat
Traumatic Brain Injury: What To Know About Symptoms Diagnosis And Treatment
Traumatic brain injury can happen in a variety of situations. And everyone is at risk, especially children and older adults.
A car accident. A football tackle. An unfortunate fall. These thingsand morecan cause head injuries. Head injuries can happen to anyone, at any age, and they can damage the brain.
Heres how damage can happen: A sudden movement of the head and brain can cause the brain to bounce or twist in the skull, injuring brain cells, breaking blood vessels, and creating chemical changes. This damage is called a traumatic brain injury .
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to study TBI and encourages the development of medical devices to help diagnose and treat it.
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Symptoms Of A Traumatic Brain Injury
Some symptoms of a traumatic brain injury happen immediately after the traumatic event. Others may not appear for several days or weeks.
For a mild injury, its normal to feel dizzy, nauseated, or have a headache. Other mild symptoms include:
- Ringing in your ears
These mild symptoms usually go away after a few days or weeks.
In addition to these symptoms, moderate or severe TBIs may include:
- Lasting nausea or vomiting
- Dilated pupils
- Trouble waking up, walking, or speaking
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness in your arms or legs
- Drainage of bloody or clear fluids from your ears or nose
These types of TBIs are serious and can have lasting effects. Your mood can change, making you feel angry, anxious, or sensitive. Short-term memory can be affected, as well as your ability to think and focus. You may have trouble controlling your impulses.
Always seek medical care if you have hit your head. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the emergency room. Contact a doctor if someone you know has a head injury and acts strange.
What Is The Prognosis For People With Traumatic Brain Injuries
Recovery from a TBI is highly individualized. It depends on the severity, cause and type of injury. People with mild TBIs are expected to improve and return to their pre-injury functioning within days to a few months. Some people with mild TBIs have few concerns and never seek treatment.
Moderate to severe TBIs can cause more significant difficulties with changes to their thinking and behavior. People with severe TBIs can have lifelong changes.
There are several different factors that can influence someones recovery.
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Where Can I Learn More About Severe Tbi And Docs
- Facts about the Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States after Severe Brain Injury:
- Traumatic Brain Injury and Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation:
- Brain Injury Association of America: 1-800-444-6443,
Questions For Your Doctor
- Could I have a traumatic brain injury and not know it?
- Will my symptoms show up weeks later?
- For a mild traumatic brain injury, how long before I can return to my daily routine?
- Does a traumatic brain injury cause permanent brain damage?
- Can you recommend a support group for people who have traumatic brain injuries?
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Do I Have Brain Damage How A Neuropsychological Assessment Can Bring Clarity To You And The People Around You
In my role as a Clinical Neuropsychologist, I often have to help people answer the question, do I have brain damage or brain injury? As Ill explain, accidents, drugs , and medical conditions can all contribute to brain damage or injury.
In this second part of a three part series explaining what a neuropsychological assessment is, and when you might consider undergoing one, I will address how neuropsychologists approach symptoms of brain injury.
Again, problems or symptoms of problems you might be facing in day-to-day thinking, is a reason we would consider using a neuropsychological assessment because they are very accurate in assessing thinking skills.
As I mentioned last time, thinking skills can be separated into five domains:
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Is A Head Injury The Same As A Brain Injury
Both head injury and brain injury are usually terms used when an injury to the head and the brain is involved. Sometimes when the words are used, brain injury is used when a more severe injury. Also, we often hear brain injury when rehab for brain injury is necessary.
It is important to know that a brain injury is a more serious problem, and damage to the brain generally requires help at a neuro-rehabilitation center to make a full recovery. A traumatic brain injury may have a permanent effect on the patients quality of life, which is not always the case with a head injury.
That said, there is hope for recovery and improved quality of life with help from a well-trained, compassionate treatment team.
What Are The Possible Results Of Brain Injury
Some brain injuries are mild, with symptoms disappearing over time with proper attention. Others are more severe and may result in permanent disability. The long-term or permanent results of brain injury may need post-injury and possibly lifelong rehabilitation. Effects of brain injury may include:
- Cognitive deficits
Difficulty understanding where limbs are in relation to the body
Vision problems, including double vision, lack of visual acuity, or limited range of vision
Difficulty speaking and understanding speech
Difficulty choosing the right words to say
Difficulty reading or writing
Difficulty knowing how to perform certain very common actions, like brushing one’s teeth
Slow, hesitant speech and decreased vocabulary
Difficulty forming sentences that make sense
Problems identifying objects and their function
Problems with reading, writing, and ability to work with numbers
Impaired ability with activities of daily living , such as dressing, bathing, and eating
Problems with organization, shopping, or paying bills
Inability to drive a car or operate machinery
Impaired social capacity resulting in difficult interpersonal relationships
Difficulties in making and keeping friends
Difficulties understanding and responding to the nuances of social interaction
Anxiety and depression
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Brain Damage Recovery Chances: How To Maximize Recovery Outlook
Every brain injury is unique, which makes it challenging to predict ones chances of recovery.
Many factors are involved in determining ones recovery outlook after TBI, including the severity of injury, age, prior functional levels, and the onset of secondary complications. Fortunately, even with the most severe cases of brain damage, there is always a chance to recover.
To help you better understand recovery outlook after brain damage, this article will share:
How Brain Injury Affects Learning
Certain cognitive difficulties make it nearly impossible for some TBI patients to absorb new information.
This can cause brain injury survivors to experience the symptoms of a learning disability, such as ADHD, even though they do not have that disorder.
The following are the main cognitive effects of brain injury that impact a persons ability to learn.
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Defining Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury is brain dysfunction caused by an outside source. Very simply: damage occurs to the brain, and the brain doesnt function normally after that.
We refer to a brain injury caused by an outside source as an acquired brain injury, meaning it happens after birth. To be clear, there are other scenarios that can result in brain damage that dont come from an outside source. A non-acquired brain injury is a brain injury caused by genetic or hereditary factors, birth trauma, or from a degenerative cause, such as Alzheimers disease or Parkinsons disease.
The medical community further divides the term acquired brain injury into the terms traumatic and non-traumatic acquired brain injuries for clarity. A traumatic brain injury is the result of some kind of outside force, such as an object hitting the head. A non-traumatic brain injury is the result of a closed head injury, such as a stroke.
We dont like the term non-traumatic because it implies the injury and its consequences are somehow less frightening and distressing than a traumatic injury. Either kind of brain injury is traumatic to the person experiencing it,and they can both result in the same unpleasant, long-term symptoms.
When we refer to TBIs in this article, were talking about both traumatic and non-traumatic acquired brain injuries.
What Is Diffuse Axonal Injury
Diffuse axonal injury is the shearing of the brain’s long connecting nerve fibers that happens when the brain is injured as it shifts and rotates inside the bony skull. DAI usually causes coma and injury to many different parts of the brain. The changes in the brain are often microscopic and may not be evident on computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scans.
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Complications That May Arise
Brain injury treatment is often undertaken with urgency and can result in some complications. The symptoms of brain injury may be mitigated, about accompanying complications that may arise include the following:
Epilepsy: Seizures that are recurrent may occur as a side effect of the brain damage resulting from brain injury, depending on what part of the brain damage has occurred in, or more rarely, as a cause of traumatic brain injury treatment itself. Patients who have had a penetrating wound into the brain cavity will see a much higher percentage of epilepsy as a complication and recurrent symptoms of brain injury.
Nerve injuries: Brain injury can cause nerve damage which may not be cured completely. Depending on several factors, it is necessary to consider rehabilitation programs that cater to nerve damage.
Hydrocephalus: Fluid build up in the brain cavity can occur as a complication of a traumatic brain injury, and the resultant pressure can cause further damage to the nervous system. The discovery of hydrocephalus early can help reduce any further brain damage.
Blood clots: Clots can occur in patients of brain injury, and can travel from an extremity to the lung and can cause severe complications and in rare cases, even death, if not attended to with immediacy. Brain injury patients are kept under observation to mitigate the risks of blood clotting in any part of the body.
Living With A Traumatic Brain Injury
Some traumatic brain injuries have lasting effects. You may be left with disabilities. These can be physical, behavioral, communicative, and/or mental. Customized treatment helps you to have as full and normal a life as possible.
If you have lasting effects from your injury, you might find it helpful to find a support group. There, others who have experienced similar injuries can help you learn about issues related to your injury, teach you coping strategies, and offer emotional support. Ask your doctor or rehabilitation therapist if there are any support groups near you.
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S To Increase Brain Damage Recovery Chances
Utilizing a combination of various rehabilitation methods can promote better chances of brain damage recovery. Because traumatic brain injuries can affect a wide variety of cognitive and motor functions, a personalized approach to recovery that identifies and targets each individuals weaknesses is ideal.
Commonly used practices to improve recovery outcomes after brain injury include:
Rehabilitative therapies will provide you with helpful guidance to promote recovery, but its ultimately up to you to continuously practice those exercises and activities to optimize your outcomes. The more you practice, the more your brain will adapt, and the better youll get.
What Is A Brain Injury
Damage to the brain due to physical trauma is called a traumatic brain injury , and can have severe side effects. It can result from various causes such as motor accidents, sports injuries, a blow to the head from an assault etc. and the brain injury can range from being a mild concussion to being severely debilitating. The brain injury may be accompanied by fracture of the skull, and can be either blunt force trauma or a penetrating injury. The impact to the head can cause the brain to move back and forth inside the skull and hurt itself against the cranium, causing swelling and bleeding.
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