Treatment For Brain Stem Damage
To treat brain stem damage, you must address the symptoms. The most effective way to do this is to trigger neuroplasticity, your brains natural healing mechanism.
Because of neuroplasticity, your brain can form new neural pathways. These pathways allow undamaged portions of the brain to take over functions controlled by damaged ones. It does this in response to repetition.
Therefore, the more you practice an action, the more you will reinforce those neural pathways. And the stronger those pathways are, the easier the activity will become.
This principle applies to every type of brain damage, even brain stem damage. There are several therapies you can take part in to engage neuroplasticity and recover function. We will discuss the most important ones in the sections below:
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What Are The Symptoms Of Traumatic Brain Injury
The symptoms of TBI depend on the type of injury and how serious the brain damage is.
The symptoms of mild TBI can include:
- A brief loss of consciousness in some cases. However, many people with mild TBI remain conscious after the injury.
- Blurred vision or tired eyes
- Ringing in the ears
- Increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation
How Is A Traumatic Brain Injury Diagnosed
Your doctor will perform a neurological exam. He or she will ask you questions about the injury and symptoms. They also will test your physical and mental reflexes. The exam helps your doctor determine how severe your brain injury is. You may need other tests, such as an X-ray, computerized tomography scan, or magnetic resonance imaging . These tests take pictures of your head and brain. They show if there is a skull fracture or bleeding, bruising, or blood clots in your brain.
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What Are The Types Of Traumatic Brain Injuries
The severity of the head injury is determined by several different factors, such as loss of consciousness, certain neurological symptoms that happened at the time of the injury, loss of memory for the injury and time surrounding it, and abnormalities on head CT or brain MRI.
There are several different types and grades of TBI:
Physical Symptoms Of Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Persistent headaches
- Sensitivity to light
- Sleep disorders
The severity of brain damage varies with the type of brain injury. A mild brain injury may be temporary, whereas in a moderate brain injury, the symptoms can last longer and be more pronounced. In both cases, most patients make a good recovery. However, even in mild brain injury cases 15 percent of people will have persistent problems after one year. With a severe brain injury, the person may suffer life-changing and debilitating problems, including cognitive, behavioral, and physical disabilities.
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Cognitive Warning Signs Of Brain Injury
Cognitive basically refers to your ability to think and reason. Victims of brain damage can show these signs:
- Short and long term memory loss. This includes inability to remember the accident, which could cause a diagnosis of post-traumatic amnesia. Victims can forget names of loved ones and friends. They can forget to do basic activities like bathing, or forget how to do them, like forgetting how to start the engine of a car or how to cook food without burning it.
- Inability to focus. Paying attention and concentrating as normal becomes impossible. Some victims have the attention span of a child.
- Inability to make decisions.
Common Signs And Symptoms Of A Tbi
People should seek immediate medical attention if they experience any of the following symptoms:
- loss of or change in consciousness anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours
- convulsions or seizures
- unequal dilation in the pupils of the eyes or double vision
- clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
- nausea and vomiting
- new neurologic deficit, i.e., slurred speech weakness of arms, legs, or face loss of balance
Other common symptoms that should be monitored include:
- Light-headedness, dizziness, vertigo, or loss of balance or coordination
- Sensory problems:
- blurred vision, seeing stars, or eyes that tire easily
- ringing in ears
- loss of sense of smell or taste
Headache, dizziness, confusion, and fatigue tend to start immediately after an injury, but resolve over time. Emotional symptoms such as frustration and irritability tend to develop later on during the recovery period. Many of the signs and symptoms can be easily missed as people may appear healthy even though they act or feel different. Many of the symptoms overlap with other conditions, such as depression or sleep disorders.
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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.
Recovering From Traumatic Brain Injury
Each brain injury is unique. Each recovery will be too. There is no set timeline that every injury follows. Not every patient sees 100% recovery, but its important to keep looking for help because you never know how much more you could recover.
Cognitive FX is open to seeing anyone who has suffered any kind of brain injury causing long-lasting symptoms, whether its from an accident or traumatic injury, or from something like neurosurgery complications or neurotoxicity. Weve successfully treated patients whose injury happened years ago. If youre not happy where youre at in your recovery, dont give up hope.
Wed like to introduce you to a few of our patients who suffered moderate to severe TBIs and who came to us for treatment:
Michael Ray came to Cognitive FX three years after a severe stroke left him unable to walk or talk. Michaels fNCI at the end of the week showed noticeable improvement in blood flow to damaged areas of his brain.
Aimee was in a car accident that resulted in a severe TBI. She had constant headaches, personality changes, memory problems, exercise intolerance, and narcolepsy after the accident. She came to Cognitive FX seventeen years after that accident. After treatment, her memory improved, she was able to multitask again, and her headaches are less severe and much less frequent. Shes been able to dramatically reduce the medication she takes for narcolepsy.
About Dr. Jaycie Loewen
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What Are The Risk Factors For Brain Disorders
Brain disorders can affect anyone. Risk factors are different for different types of brain disorders.
Traumatic brain injury is most common in children under 4 years old, young adults between 15 and 25 years old, and adults 65 and older.
Brain tumors can affect people at any age. Your personal risk depends on your genetics and your exposure to environmental risk factors like radiation.
Older age and family history are the most significant risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases.
Mental disorders are very common. About 1 in 5 American adults has experienced a mental health condition. Your risk may be higher if you:
- have a family history of mental illness
- have or have had traumatic or stressful life experiences
- have a history of misusing alcohol or drugs
- have or have had a traumatic brain injury
What Are The Treatments For Traumatic Brain Injury
The treatments for TBI depend on many factors, including the size, severity, and location of the brain injury.
For mild TBI, the main treatment is rest. If you have a headache, you can try taking over-the-counter pain relievers. It is important to follow your health care provider’s instructions for complete rest and a gradual return to your normal activities. If you start doing too much too soon, it may take longer to recover. Contact your provider if your symptoms are not getting better or if you have new symptoms.
For moderate to severe TBI, the first thing health care providers will do is stabilize you to prevent further injury. They will manage your blood pressure, check the pressure inside your skull, and make sure that there is enough blood and oxygen getting to your brain.
Once you are stable, the treatments may include:
- Surgery to reduce additional damage to your brain, for example to
- Remove hematomas
- Get rid of damaged or dead brain tissue
- Repair skull fractures
- Relieve pressure in the skull
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How Do I Know If I Have A Brain Injury
Unlike injuries to other parts of the body, there is frequently no outward sign of brain injury. Because of this, it is harder for those suffering from such injuries to know what brain injury symptoms to look for, or when to seek treatment for a traumatic brain injury.
This article will outline the common causes of brain injury, review the symptoms of a TBI to be aware of, and talk about some of the risks that victims face.
How Are Brain Disorders Diagnosed
Your primary care physician or a neurological specialist can diagnose a brain disorder.
Your doctor will likely perform a neurological exam to check your vision, hearing, and balance. Your doctor may also get images of your brain to help them make a diagnosis. The most common diagnostic imaging tools are CT, MRI, and PET scans.
Your doctor might also need to study fluid from your brain and spinal cord. This helps them find bleeding in the brain, infection, and other abnormalities.
Mental health disorders are usually diagnosed based on an evaluation of your symptoms and history.
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What Happens If A Concussion Goes Untreated
It is not uncommon for people to underestimate the seriousness of a concussion. However, an untreated head injury may lead to persistent symptoms. These include sensitivity to light, sore eyes, and blurry vision, headaches, fatigue, and interrupted sleep, which could lead to emotional and cognitive issues.
What to Look for When Diagnosing Moderate to Severe Brain Injuries
The signs and symptoms of moderate to severe traumatic brain injures can mimic those of milder injuries, and can also include the following in the first hours to days after the head injury:
- Loss of consciousness lasting for several minutes to hours
- Convulsions or seizures
Causes And Symptoms Of Tbi
TBI is often caused by a bump, blow, jolt, or explosive blast to the head, or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the brains normal function. Not all hits to the head result in TBI. But when it happens, TBI can range from mild to severe .
About 75 percent of TBIs that occur each year are mild. If a person has the symptoms of TBI after a blow to the head, then the brain has been injured. Mild TBIs always involve some degree of brain injury.
Symptoms of mild TBI include:
Moderate and severe TBI can produce more symptoms including:
- repeated vomiting or nausea
- weakness in the arms or legs
- problems with thinking and learning
If you have questions about TBI, talk to your health care provider. Anyone with signs of TBI should receive medical attention as soon as possible. Call 911 in emergency situations.
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Mild Moderate Or Severe: Understanding How We Describe Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are usually categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. These terms dont necessarily indicate the severity of what patients experience long-term as a result of a brain injury though. A mild concussion can still disable a person. CFX frequently treats patients who are unable to work or are homebound from their persistent concussion symptoms.
However, we can still explain how the medical community differentiates these brain injuries.
A mild traumatic brain injury is commonly called a concussion. Someone with an mTBI may or may not have lost consciousness, but if they did, it was for a very short time. There is usually no bleeding in the brain and no skull fracture.
With a moderate traumatic brain injury, we might see a skull fracture, such as a fracture under the eye. There could be a visible sign of injury on the head. There might be a loss of consciousness with this injury . Any bleeding is not life-threatening. A person with a moderate TBI might be kept under observation for a short time, but the injuries usually heal on their own. They dont usually require surgery.
Someone with a severe traumatic brain injury must experience an extended loss of consciousness or even be in a coma. The skull may have a serious fracture, or some object might have penetrated it. Severe TBIs often require emergency neurosurgery:
Again, just because an injury isnt categorized as severe doesnt mean it wont have very serious and real consequences in your life.
How Do You Know If You Have Experienced A Traumatic Brain Injury
Identifying a traumatic brain injury can be difficult, even when victims are treated in the emergency room or urgent care. Doctors often miss some of the signs and symptoms of a TBI.
Also, some symptoms of brain injuries will not appear for days or even weeks after an accident, which means that doctors can miss the diagnoses of these conditions or not have a true understanding of the severity of the damage.
Unfortunately, many TBI victims go undiagnosed and this can leave individuals without proper treatment. By looking for the symptoms of TBIs, victims and loved ones can be aware of possible issues and seek medical help.
If you or a loved one has experienced a serious head trauma and are dealing with any of the following symptoms, you should see a medical professional. And if your head injury is the result of an accident, a fall or something caused by the negligence of someone else, you may also want to consult a personal injury attorney.
Traumatic brain injuries can leave victims with life altering conditions and many times, it is the injured victims loved ones who are forced to provide care while dealing with sometimes dramatic changes in their injured loved ones personality. We are Fisher Stark and we can help.
You do not have to handle your injuries alone while also trying to fight with an insurance company that is out to save a buck.
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Repeated Drinking Can Cause Damage
The Alzheimers Society in Britain reports that people who drink a great deal of alcohol for a long time are more likely to have a reduction in white brain matter volume, compared to those who do not follow this drinking pattern.
The brains white matter helps signals move from one part of the brain to another. When there is a smaller volume of white matter, some signals could get dropped or lost, and that can begin to look a little like brain damage.
In addition to reductions in white matter, people with a history of repeated heavy drinking can also develop reductions in a portion of the brain known as the hippocampus. This part of the brain helps to regulate emotions, and it assists with long-term memory.
In a study published by The BMJ, researchers found that high alcohol consumption and hippocampal shrinkage were dose-dependent. In other words, the more someone drank, the smaller the hippocampus was.
Those who drank more than 30 drinks per week were at the highest risk of anyone in the study, but even those who drank moderately developed shrinkage.
Shrinkage in this part of the brain could lead to long-term problems with memory, as well as difficulty in regulating emotions or understanding the emotions of others. And this problem with emotions has been associated with another symptom of alcohol abuse.
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.
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