Significant Brain Injury FAQs

All the organ systems of the human body are controlled by the brain. Specific lobes or hemisphere of the brain is responsible for controlling basic and vital physiologic functions such as breathing, blood circulation, digestion, immune system, and the heartbeat as well as psychological and emotional functions like thinking and emotional responses to different stimuli. When the central nervous system has sustained some injuries or damages, the brain would not be able to function normally because of the brain injury; these injuries may also be life-threatening and these damages may be temporary or maybe even permanent.

To have a clearer view as to what brain injury really is, here are some Brain Injury FAQs:

What are the major differences between traumatic brain injury and acquired brain injury?

 Traumatic brain injury happens when the brain or any part of the brain is damaged or injured because of external mechanical force from violent blows to the head inflicted by another person such as gunshot wounds, vehicular accidents, assaults, and falls.

 Acquired brain injury wherein the damage occurs when a person develops conditions such as cerebrovascular accidents, hypoxia, or anoxia, which often results in irreversible and fatal damages to the brain cells and tissues.

What are the frequent causes of traumatic brain injury?

 Closed Head injury: This is the type of brain injury wherein the brain sustains bleeding, tissue damage, bruising or elevated intracranial pressure because of the impact of the brain tissues on the inside of the skull.

 Penetrating Brain Injury: The most common of this type are gunshot wounds, open skull fractures or other objects penetrating the skull causing damages to the brain tissues.

 Anoxic Brain Injury: Some permanent damages to the brain are caused by a deficiency or lack of oxygen supply to the tissues. When the brain is not supplied with oxygenated blood for a few seconds brought about by apnea or asphyxia, the brain cells become necrotic and loses its functions.

 Toxic Brain Injury: Some toxic chemicals, when inhaled by an individual, may cause damage to the brain cells.

What are the serious effects of severe brain injury?

Severe brain injuries may affect an individual physically, emotionally and psychologically. Some of the serious effects of brain injuries may include:

  • Behavioral Changes: the patient may become apathetic, they may have a depressive behavior, mood swings, and personality traits may also be affected. Victims of brain injuries have the tendency to be narcissistic so they tend to be easily frustrated and irritable; they may also have inappropriate aggressive behaviors.
  • Physical Effects: The victims of severe brain injuries may experience difficulty in walking and standing because they lose their sense of balance; some may also experience uncoordinated eye and hand movements. In really severe cases the person may have permanent paralysis. In some cases, people who have brain injuries will have sleep pattern disturbances, sexual function may also be affected, and may also have generalized body malaise.
  • Cognitive changes: Here, memory and language are the most affected including other mental processes. The patient may lose focus because of shortened attention span; he may also have poor judgment and loss of reading and writing skills which may be partial or complete. The thought process is also affected, resulting in an inability to solve simple common problems.

Who are the people at risk for brain injuries?

Males are more at risk than females

Based on the different age groups, the more at risk for TBI are the following

  • Ages 0 – 4
  • Ages ranging from 15 – 19
  • The elderly with age 65 and above

People who are under the military service

People who drive vehicles every day

People who work in factories because they are more exposed to chemicals

What does a person need to do after recovering from a brain injury?

The life of a brain injury victim may be affected in different degrees one way or another because of the effects. The person needs to undergo physical and neurological rehabilitative therapy as well as counseling to relieve psychological and emotional stress brought about by the trauma.

After a TBI, will a person be able to return to his previous job or will he be able to find new employment opportunities?

Most people who have experienced traumatic brain injuries are still able to return to their previous employments although they may need some assistance when it comes to the use of some equipment like visual aids and voice recorders, but returning to their previous roles and jobs depends greatly on the level of recovery. In some severe cases where their previous work entails a lot of technical skill where the individual has already been having difficulties performing his job, he may need to seek for new employment where he can perform much better. The law of every state dictates that these brain injury victims should be given equal priorities when it comes to job opportunities, making them fit for their new jobs and with the same benefits that others are entitled.

These are only some of the Brain Injury FAQs which could help people to have a better understanding as to the important facts about brain injury. Brain injuries are often considered to be “silent epidemics” as they are not commonly recognized by people although there are quite a huge number of cases each year. Prevention is still above all better than having to be treated because of brain injuries.