The incidence of Traumatic Brain Injuries is on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control, emergency room visits for Traumatic Brain Injury rose by a whopping 70 percent between 2001 and 2010, and accounted for 2.5 million ER visits in 2010 alone. An increase in the number of people playing sports as well as increased awareness about the condition could play a part in the drastically increasing numbers.
A leading cause of TBI is the concussion. While most concussions will resolve without complications in a couple of weeks, others can lead to serious short and long-term effects. Short term effects of Traumatic Brain Injury vary widely and can include a brief change in mental status, change in memory or reasoning, change in sensations like touch, taste and smell, change in expression or understanding or even depression and aggression. About 75% of all TBI that occur each year are considered mild TBI’s.
When considering long-term effects of Traumatic Brain Injury, it is important to understand that there really is no “typical” TBI patient experience. Severity of the injury, rate of healing, the area of the brain that was injured and the resources available to the patient for treatment and recovery all play a significant role in the long-term effects of TBI. Therefore, while each case is individual in nature, there are a few common areas to be considered including how cognition and mood or behavior have changed.
Most people with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury experience cognitive problems to some degree. Basic skills such as attention span, concentration and retention of newly learned information are typically impacted. In addition, slowed speech and problem solving and confusion are also present many times with these types of injuries.
Mood and Behavior
Often times, the parts of the brain that control mood, socialization and emotion are damaged. In addition to cases of depression, hyperactivity, aggression, lethargy and denial may appear in people who did not display these types of behavior before. Changes in vision my also occur, possibly leading to vertigo, balance disorders or hearing complications. A small percent of patients may develop seizures. For the majority of people who experience seizures, they begin soon after injury, however in some people it takes months or even years to develop.
Although the effects associated with Traumatic Brain Injury can be daunting to think about, there is hope for fast and effective treatment to stop the progression of these effects. First and foremost, anyone who has experienced a head injury should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible to rule out any TBI. Once a TBI has occurred, a treatment plan should be established and implemented as soon as possible. With training, support and therapy, many patients reduce or halt the impact of these long term effects successfully.
As examination into the effects and treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury continue, great strides are being made in fields of study and effective treatments like Chiropractic Neurology. As new information emerges, we will remain focused on bringing our readers the most current and useful stories. Click here to read Sidney Crosby’s inspirational story, and to learn more about Traumatic Brain Injury and available treatment options.