Wrapping Your Mind Around Brain Injury

The human brain is a three pound organ that controls every function in your body, including your intelligence, emotion and creativity. Between the three largest parts of the brain – cerebrum, cerebellum and diencephalon – your every movement, sense, thought and bodily process is controlled. This tiny organ, roughly the size of two clenched fist, practically controls our entire life. But what happens when something goes wrong?

An acquired brain injury is defined simply as non-hereditary damage to the brain; but because each area of the brain controls different things, every injury uniquely affects the victim. These injuries can be broken into two categories—traumatic and nontraumatic.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs from an external force and disrupts the normal brain functions. This can occur in a variety of ways, including falls, accidents, gunshot wounds, sports injuries, domestic violence or assault. While not always deadly, TBI is responsible for the death of over 56,000 Americans a year. Those who survive TBI will usually face effects throughout the rest of their lives. These effects include alterations in memory, sight, balance, communication or personality. TBI can also cause impairments in emotions and increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety or depression.

Non-traumatic brain injury, on the other hand, is much more common and the effects are much less permanent. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, about 75 percent of annual brain injuries are concussions or other mild forms of TBI. While non-traumatic brain injuries are far less deadly, they do result in some defining symptoms including:

  • Loss of consciousness or dazed state
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Blurred vision
  • Mood changes
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches

Of the 2.5 million Americans each year that sustain a traumatic brain injury, only 282,000 are hospitalized. Because of this, brain injuries have been referred to a “silent epidemic” since there are thousands of unreported cases each year. Additionally, many of the visible physical or behavioral effects of TBI are not usually attributed to a brain injury.

If you suspect you or a loved one has suffered a concussion or brain injury, you should immediately see a healthcare professional or go immediately to the emergency room. If severe enough, you will be referred to a neurologist, rehabilitation specialist or neurosurgeon. Your health care professional may do a CT scan or other “neurocognitive” tests to determine the extent of the injury. Getting help soon after your injury may help speed up the recovery process.

If your brain injury has seriously affected your life, you should reach out to a brain injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL to ensure you are financially and emotionally compensated for your pain.

Thanks to Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into personal injury claims and brain injury.