Traumatic Brain Injury
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can be defined as a disturbance with the normal functioning of the brain. It is scientifically know to occur when the brain is in some way injured, wounded or rattled from an exterior force often seen in sports activities. The results of this disorder can significantly change how a person’s brain develops as well as how they move, act or think. Unfortunately, there is presently no effective pharmaceutical treatment available for use in the treatment of this unfortunate illness. Inevitably, TBI in its different stages is the leading cause of death and disability among athletes and individuals under the age of 50 in today’s society, requiring extensive long-term medical care.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Traumatic Brain Injury is an important public health problem in the United States. TBI is frequently referred to as the “silent epidemic” because the complications from TBI, such as changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, or emotions, may not be readily apparent. In addition, awareness about TBI among the public is limited (Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations and Deaths. Atlanta (GA):Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2004.) TBI is primarily classified according to the severity of the injury with cases normally ranging from mild to severe. Brain injuries can occur as opened or closed encounters. If it is an open injury, something from the outside has somehow penetrated the skull. If it is a closed injury, possibly a blunt blow to the head has occurred or a violent shaking has forced rapid changes of skull motion.
Anger becomes more of a problem for some following a TBI for many reasons. When the frontal lobes incur injury, it becomes very difficult to control emotional responses. Most individuals also find it very hard to sort out solutions to even the simplest problems. This can become very frustrating causing great anger and irritability. When it becomes a challenge to an otherwise smart and healthy person to follow conversations, deal with noise, crowds and normal everyday life events, frustration can easily take over. Once frustration gets out of control, irritability then becomes more of a side effect to the situation. This is when efficient healthcare providers attempt to implement a plan of care that will help individuals with TBI better gain emotional self-control.
Studies have shown that outbursts of anger are often exhibited in people with traumatic brain injury. In the English Language, anger is defined as a strong feeling of being upset or annoyed because of something wrong or bad. With reference to TBI, it should be viewed as hostile thoughts and feelings. On the other hand, a common companion known as aggression displays violent behaviors. (Insert a study here for reference page). Aggressive behavior can be severe and often times interferes with quality of life as well as rehabilitation.
In my professional experience, it is essential for healthcare providers to understand that anger is a normal, yet essential reaction to the TBI population. The goal is not to completely prevent anger from occurring, but to simply learn to manage it properly. To get rid of anger altogether would be impossible as well as unhealthy. Anger is brought on by a trigger, which is also viewed as a threat. Many people with TBI feel belittled, confused, disrespected and sometimes inferior. These type everyday threats when experienced help lead to the sudden outburst of anger that are exhibited in people suffering from TBI. The medical society must come up with ways to help limit these treats to better control the sense of independence and self-esteem in TBI sufferers. (Look up some examples of how to control anger for reference page and to serve as more filler). Instead of focusing on the “cant’s and “don’ts” we as healthcare providers must weigh-in more on the “do’s and “can’s” by celebrating any known or seen achievements.
More than half of all of traumatic brain injuries are from falls, physical assaults and sports-related activities. Studies show that in 2013, about 2.8 million TBI-related emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths occurred in the United States. TBI contributed to the deaths of nearly 50, 000 people and was diagnosed in more than 282,000 hospitalizations and 2.5 million ED visits. These consisted of TBI alone or TBI in combination with other injuries. (Taylor CA, Bell JM, Breiding MJ, Xu L. Traumatic Brain Injury–Related Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths — United States, 2007 and 2013. (Make sure this is cited properly))
This type injury is one that accompanies serious side effects and can permanently end athlete’s career. It can sometimes hard to imagine a person being in the prime of his athletic career and out of nowhere suffers a traumatic brain injury. Sad to say, statistics show that many athletes face this exact situation every day. Presently, another form of TBI called a concussion, is on the rise around the world of sports. Football and hockey are two popular sports with a level of play that creates an increase in this type traumatic brain injury. Healthcare providers and other medical experts as well as athletic leagues are working overtime trying to understand this vastly evolving issue and trying to find ways to prevent it from occurring. Concussions are one of those injuries known to include a wide variety of conditions and symptoms. (Insert a fact on concussions here for referenced page site).
A traumatic brain injury is a disability or malfunction that occurs when a brain injury takes place. This includes the brain stem that will result in impaired cognitive, physical, or emotional functioning. The side of the brain receiving the injury will impair functions on the opposite side of the body as well as impair mental capabilities. The human brain has two very important sides known as the right and left cerebral hemispheres. These cerebral hemispheres made up the majority of the brain and its weight. They are divided into sections called lobes. Each individual part of the brain has a specific job to perform and must all work together in order for the brain to (Insert a fact about the cerebral hemispheres for resource page). function properly. Research has proven that all obtained information must travel through the brain to the proper domain for adequate processing. The left cerebral hemisphere responsible for our ability to speak while the left hemisphere is responsible for controlling movement of the right side of the body. This again shows how the brain is composed of various parts and functions that rely heavily on each other for proper functioning. Injuring the delicate brain can sometimes causes grave effects on a person because it depends on the brain part that was affected. This also determines the type of recovery treatment that is necessary for the brain to return to its appropriate operating function.
Long-term care is often needed for sufferers of extensive traumatic brain injury. Individuals with a brain injury usually suffer cognitive thinking and communication problems that notably impair their ability to live on their own. This differs depending on how extensive the brain damage is and the location of the injury. Survivors of this disorder may have trouble finding the words they need to express an explain themselves through speaking and writing or just to simply express and idea they may have verbally. It may be a challenge for them to understand both written and spoken sentences, as if they were trying to learn and comprehend a new language. This includes having difficulty reading, writing and spelling it.
The rehabilitation and recovery process differs for everyone. Just as no two people are exactly alike, there are no two brain injuries exactly alike. Rehabilitation and recovery are normally very lengthy, ranging from months to years. This is the human brain is a delicate part of the body that takes a long time to heal once injured. Healthcare providers provide tips to their patients upon discharge to help them cope as much as possible (Insert literature about “Tips on how to cope with a TBI” here for your reference page).
Unlike extensive TBI cases, mild traumatic brain injuries often require no treatment besides lots of rest and over-the-counter pain relievers to treat a headache. Cognitive skills like sustaining attention, remembering newly learning information and fully concentrating on different tasks are heavily experienced. That said, however, a person with a mild traumatic brain injury usually needs to be monitored closely at home for any persistent, worsening or new symptoms accompanied by follow-up doctor visits. With adequate training and good support an individual can learn to compensate for their shortcomings. The healthcare provider will provide a clearance to either return to work, school or recreational activities specifically sports.
It is difficult to predict how well or fast someone who has had a traumatic brain injury will improve, because there is no test a perform that can predict a recovery period. The Glasgow Coma Scale is used to dictate the initial severity of a brain injury. It is commonly used at the scene of the accident or in the emergency room. This scale uses eye movements and ability to speak and move other parts of the body to determine the seriousness of the injury.
In a case study by Dr. Edward Chauvin, a treatment called Quantum Neurology Rehabilitation was used but was only a treatment and not a cure for TBI. This treatment is a form of neurological rehabilitation. Doctors often use the word treatment when implementing this procedure to ensure that it is not mistaken as a cure for the patient’s injury or condition. Quantum Neurology Rehabilitation uses traditional and unique neurological evaluations to perform before and after validation of neurological changes in the brain. As with any king of treatment or rehabilitation, there is no way to predict how a person will respond to neurological rehabilitation.