TBI Brain Injury       Brain Trauma &
Brain Injury Information



A Brain Injury
Can Be Hard To Assess 

When the brain is injured or damaged, no matter how this happens, brain cells are destroyed. This may be a result of an accident, or could be from a variety of diseases. Brain cells can be destroyed by a shortage of oxygen, or by certain infections or neurological disorders, or blows to the head in the case of an accident.

It is very difficult to accurately assess the amount of damage that a brain injury causes a person, but by undergoing a neurological examination, with neuroimaging and neuropsychological assessments, it is possible to discover the full extent of the brain cell degeneration.

If brain injury occurs in a child, it is much harder to evaluate, since children's brains develop at different rates, and different areas of the brain at different times too. For example, it is impossible to tell if a child's speech is affected by the brain injury, if the child has not yet started speaking because he is under one year of age. In these cases, it is often necessary to wait months or even years to find out the amount of damage done by the brain injury.

Once there is some idea of the extent of brain injury, and some knowledge of the location of the physical injuries in the brain and the brain tissue, it is possible to find out what to expect. For example, if the brain stem is damaged, there is more chance of paralysis, whereas other damaged areas of the brain might lead to speech problems or hallucinations.

Treatment for brain injury depends on the severity of degeneration of the brain cells, but may involve medication, surgery (especially if there is a great deal of swelling in the brain, surgery may be needed to reduce the pressure) neuropsychological rehabilitation and possibly even deep brain stimulation. Neurosurgeons, neurologists and neuropsychologists are the experts in this field and will create the necessary programs for each individual patient to help teach them any skills they are "missing" as a result of their brain injury, or help them to relearn skills they have "forgotten" due to their injury.

It is worth remembering that although the brain cannot regenerate lost cells, other areas of the brain may begin to compensate for the damaged brain area, which means that there is always some hope of some kind of recovery, hope not just for the injured, but for the family too. Despite all the best intentions in the world, even the most knowledgeable doctors are unable to say with absolute certainty what the future holds for a patient, especially soon after the brain injury occurs.