Doctors advance research on long-term effects of brain injury

Continuing research in the area of brain injuries has allowed doctors to better understand the long-term problems that an accident victim may face. Brain injuries are well-known to cause many kinds of problems for their victims depending on the type and severity of the injury. Severe brain damage can leave the person unconscious in a coma or vegetative state, unable to breath and can eventually lead to death. Moderate injury to the brain can cause post-traumatic seizures, difficulties speaking, hearing or seeing and can cause serious difficulties with physical functioning of the victim’s body. More mild brain injury can cause memory problems, personality changes, headaches and dizziness. Researchers now understand that personality changes are a significant problem that can affect the person for many years, especially if it is not recognized and treated properly by specialists. Depression, anxiety, impulsiveness and lack of ability to focus can all be manifestations of the changes an injury victim can go through. Children who suffer a mild brain injury or concussion can develop cognitive problems, psychological issues and subsequent difficulty learning. These children may also develop problems functioning in school and with friends.

Neurologists explain that the cause of brain damage can vary from an accident or head injury to lack of oxygen to the brain and can even be caused by chemicals or medications. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the term often used when the victim was involved in some sort of head trauma such as a car accident, work injury or blast injury. Some people refer to a mild TBI as a concussion where the person may lose consciousness briefly or suffer with dizziness or vomiting shortly after the accident or crash. Current research continues to work toward understanding the effects of this head trauma for both adults and children later in life. Read more on what you should know about brain injuries here.

Photo by U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael C. Barton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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