WHAT IS A BRAIN INJURY?
A brain injury, also referred to as head injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI), occurs when the head is struck or hit by some external force. A brain injury most often results when there is a blow to the head in a car accident or fall.
When the skull is seriously hit, the brain may twist within the skull. This type of brain injury is called Diffuse Axonal Injury. After a closed brain injury, the rotation and disruption of the brain inside the skull will sever or shear the brain’s long connecting nerve fibers. This damage can be microscopic and difficult to measure. In cases involving “mild brain injury”, the effects may not be long term, but following more severe brain injury it can result in permanent disability, unconsciousness and coma. Unfortunately, there is no real treatment for Diffuse Axonal Injury. Recent studies indicate that the damage to axons appears to progress over the first 12 to 24 hours after the injury. It is hoped that in the near future it may be possible to prevent the progression with specific treatments.
After a brain injury, a variety of other damage may occur including: Hematoma (epidural, subdural and/or intracerebral); Brain swelling/edema: Increased intracranial pressure; Cerebral vasospasm; Intracranial infection; Epilepsy.
The long term affects of Traumatic brain injury (TBI) include cognitive deficits, reduction in physical and psychological skills. The Physical deficits can include walking, balance and coordination, fine motor skills and strength. Cognitive deficits include difficulty in language and communication, information processing, memory and perceptual skills.
Psychological status is also often altered and people suffering from a traumatic brain injury often exhibit changes personality and lifestyle.
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