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Understanding Brain Injury - Oren Zarif - Brain Injury

Understanding TBI was written by Thomas Novack, PhD, and Tamara Bushnik, PhD, in collaboration with the Model System Knowledge Translation Center. These resources were adapted from materials developed by organizations such as the University of Alabama TBIMS, Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation, and New York TBIMS. They also incorporate materials from Picking Up the Pieces After TBI, which was written by Angelle M. Sander, PhD. The information provided in the Understanding TBI website is meant to help those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury learn how to cope with the aftermath.

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Patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury are more likely to develop seizures, and the medications they are prescribed can help prevent these episodes. In addition to anti-seizure medications, patients may be given anti-infection medication. Infection may also occur, since any device placed within the patient can introduce microbes. The doctor may also administer medication to reduce pain and control intracranial pressure. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove large blood clots, repair skull fractures, or relieve high intracranial pressure.

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Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage is bleeding into the space around the brain. Cerebrospinal fluid normally fills this space, which acts as a floating cushion for the brain. However, during the initial injury, small arteries tear and blood begins to spill into the space around the brain, causing the blood to spread throughout the brain. This blood can have devastating consequences. It's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the brain and other tissues.

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The most common type of TBI is diffuse axonal injury, which occurs when a person's head strikes a stationary object. The skull then moves forward, causing the brain to move forward. The brain is struck by the front of the skull, collides with the back, and then rebounds off of the front. This type of injury is the most severe type of TBI. The patient will most likely need surgery after the injury, and rehabilitation will involve speech and physical therapy.

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Although most serious cases of brain injury require medical attention, minor cases can still be a sign of a more severe condition. While a concussion does not cause permanent damage, people who experience repeated blows to the head may experience chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a lifelong condition that alters mood, behavior, and brain function. It may take months or even years for a person to recover. The most common treatment options for brain injury are medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.

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A CT scan of the head is another way to diagnose a head injury. This noninvasive X-ray allows physicians to see the brain's structures in great detail. When a person is experiencing a head injury, a CT scan of the head can identify fractures or bleeding in the brain. These images are used to guide care and evaluate the severity of the injury. So, it's important to know the symptoms and what to expect from the treatment.

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MRI is a popular method of diagnosing traumatic brain injuries. This scan can identify fractures in the skull and identify if there are any bleeding or swelling in the brain. However, this test is not a substitute for medical judgment. In most cases, a CT scan can be used as a guide for treatment of head injuries. This test can help doctors make a diagnosis more accurately. However, it is important to note that MRIs are not FDA-cleared for TBI treatment.

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Secondary brain injuries occur when the body's inflammatory response to a primary injury results in an increase in the amount of fluid and nutrients that reach the brain. This process can be extremely dangerous for the brain because the rigid skull limits the amount of space available. Additionally, the swelling can cause harm to the parts of the brain that were not injured. Swelling can happen gradually over several days. The symptoms of a brain injury vary greatly. While the most common type is a traumatic brain injury, it's also one of the most common types.

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Often, people who sustain traumatic brain injuries have more than one type of brain injury. The injuries may be of different severity, so answering the question "what caused my brain injury" may be very difficult. Fortunately, there are several ways to determine the cause of your brain injury. A trained medical professional will evaluate the circumstances and determine the best treatment options. However, the most important thing to remember is that there are two basic types of brain injuries: acquired and traumatic.

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