The brain is responsible for the function and efficiency of every body system. It’s also a mass of very delicate tissue that’s vulnerable to damage despite the layer of cushioning fluid and protective bone. Sadly, about 2.5 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries every year. Some victims fully recover, but approximately 50,000 of these injuries end in death and 80,000 result in long-term effects. Brain injuries most often result from car accidents, falls, sports injuries, and violence. The impacts of a TBI are often long-term or permanent, with the severity of the effects depending on the amount of damage and the location of the injury.
If you or a family member suffered a brain injury, it’s important to know what to expect. While only a medical provider familiar with your unique case can provide real insight into the impacts of your brain injury, there are some common effects suffered by accident victims who’ve sustained traumatic brain injuries.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs as the result of blunt force trauma to the head or from a violent jolt that causes the brain to bump against the bony interior of the skull. It can also result from a penetrating wound such as a bullet wound or stabbing injury. When the soft tissue of the brain swells, bleeds, or tears, it causes cell death and changes in brain function. A traumatic brain injury can range in severity from a mild concussion with complete recovery to a catastrophic injury with long-term effects on physical ability and cognitive function.
Understanding the Impacts of Brain Injuries On Different Regions of the Brain
Brain injuries are categorized into mild, moderate, and severe injuries. Different lobes of the brain direct various body systems and functions. The brain’s frontal lobe regulates reasoning, impulse control, planning, and problem-solving. Damage in this region of the brain can cause changes in behavior and various degrees of impairment depending on the severity of the injury. Injuries to the left lobe of the brain cause speech and language problems and have an impact on logic. An injury to the right side of the brain can cause problems interpreting visual signals and the performance of routine daily tasks.
Besides these brain-region-specific effects, a traumatic brain injury in any part of the brain may cause the following effects:
- Visual problems
- Memory loss
- Communication and language problems
- Personality changes and mood swings
- Balance problems
- Loss of fine motor skills
- Sleep disturbances
Depending on the severity of the damage, long-term effects can range from mild impairment to debilitating physical and cognitive impacts.
Recovering From a Traumatic Brain Injury
Scientific research has uncovered new insight into the effects of brain injuries. One important finding is that many brain injuries don’t occur on impact, but develop during the hours or days after an accident, when inflammation and/or bleeding causes pressure to develop between the brain and the hard interior of the skull, resulting in damage to the delicate brain cells. Because of these insights, early treatment to relieve pressure can help minimize the initial damage and proper management can minimize long-term effects. Engaging in physical therapy to increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain while it heals can improve overall outcomes. Ongoing treatment, including physical, occupational, and speech therapies can help the brain to “rewire” and form new pathways to further enhance a brain injury victim’s recovery.
If someone else’s actions caused your brain injury, you need a lawyer on your side. In these situations, an experienced McKinney brain injury attorney at Carew Garcia Bohuslav Law, PLLC can help.