Traumatic brain injury most often is the result of severe external force against the head. The force is violent enough to cause brain dysfunction and disrupt necessary brain and bodily functions.
When a traumatic brain injury occurs, according to the National Institutes of Health
, several brain functions are disrupted causing various degrees of damage from mild to permanent.
Traumatic brain injury can be caused by blunt force trauma or by an object piercing the brain tissue.
Symptoms may be mild and temporary, moderate, or severe. Often, the injury requires brain surgery to remove ruptured blood vessels or bruised brain tissue.
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Disabilities may arise depending on the extent of damage from the traumatic brain injury.
The following six brain functions suffer the most after a traumatic brain injury, according to the Mayo Clinic
When an injury occurs at the base of the skull and damages the cranial nerves, the following complications may result:
- Facial muscle paralysis
- Eye nerve damage resulting in double vision
- Loss of sense of smell
- Vision loss
- Loss of facial sensation
- Problems with swallowing
A traumatic brain injury, depending on the severity of damage, can cause significant changes in cognitive and executive functioning abilities including the following:
- Mental processing speed
- Attention or concentration
- Problem-solving skills
- Multitasking abilities
- Task initiation or completion ability
Traumatic brain injuries can significantly disrupt and affect cognitive and communication skills and have lasting social implications. The following communication and social problems may result from a traumatic brain injury:
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- Difficulty understanding speech or writing
- Difficulty with speech or writing
- Disorganized thoughts
- Conversational confusion and awkwardness
Behavioral changes may be seen after a traumatic brain injury and may include the following:
- Lack of self-control
- Risky behavior
- Self-image issues
- Social difficulties
- Verbal or physical outbursts
Emotional changes may include the following:
- Mood swings
- Lack of empathy
- Insomnia and other sleep-related problems
- Self-esteem changes
Damage from a traumatic brain injury may greatly affect a person’s senses including:
- Ringing in the ears
- Problems with hand-eye coordination
- Blind spots or double vision
- Issues with taste or smell
- Tingling, pain, or itching of the skin
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Object-recognition difficulties
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