Waiting and watching are the two words most often used by family members to describe what this time was like for them. The stress, worry and anxiety may feel overwhelming at times. It may be hard to concentrate or do even the simplest things. This period of coma is among the most difficult for family members because of its seriousness and uncertainty.
Featured Brain Injury Articles
Traumatic Brain Injury FAQs – The causes, symptoms, treatment and recovery of children, adolescents, and adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI) are different. Free articles answer frequently asked questions of families, survivors, caregivers and educators. They provide information on brain trauma and concussion. They describe the effects of TBI on learning, thinking, cognition, behavior, social skills, emotions, speech, language and communication.
A child’s recovery after traumatic brain injury takes time because a child’s brain is still developing. Physical, cognitive, social, emotional and behavioral effects can change as the brain matures. Therapies can help the child relearn skills and acquire compensatory strategies, but there may be developmental delays due to damage to the brain. It is important for parents and therapists to monitor children’s recovery by tracking signs and symptoms over time. School is the arena where the long-term effects of a child’s brain injury are most likely to be evident with changes in learning and behavior.
Changes in memory after traumatic and acquired brain injury can cause difficulty for survivors, families and caregivers. CT scans can help identify changes in the brain that affect memory. The differences between long-term memory, short-term memory and post traumatic amnesia are explained. There are suggestions for improving memory at home with daily routines and exercises.
Alcohol use can worsen depression after brain injury. The physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and financial changes that often follow a traumatic or acquired brain injury frequently result in depression among survivors and family members. Seeking treatment can improve coping skills and help survivors and family members grieve their losses. The use of alcohol to blunt emotions carries new risks after an injury due to neurological changes in the brain. No amount of alcohol is safe for a survivor of a brain injury.
Communication changes after traumatic brain injury can be major and involve loss of speech or they can be subtle changes in reading, writing and comprehension. Questions about expressive and receptive aphasia and dysarthria illustrate how language areas of the brain directly affect the survivor’s ability to communicate after an injury or stroke. Assessment and treatment with a speech language pathologist may help recovery and rehabilitation.
Cognitive changes after traumatic or acquired brain injury can result in difficulty with attention, focusing, and thinking. Cognitive fatigue can affect the ability to concentrate, complete tasks, remember, and problem solve. Personal questions demonstrate the impact of cognitive changes on the daily life of survivors of TBI and ABI.
A traumatic or acquired brain injury can cause changes in physical abilities such as walking, balance, coordination, and strength. This article discusses how physical therapy, a home exercise program and conditioning can improve physical skills after TBI. Personal examples explain how physical changes can affect daily life and give suggestions for coping and improvements.
Treatment for traumatic brain injury, acquired brain injury, blast injury, PTSD or concussion can involve many specialists for medical care and rehabilitation. Professional disciplines and titles can be confusing for families, survivors and caregivers. This article briefly explains the training and roles of a physiatrist, psychiatrist, psychologist, neuropsychologist, and counselor.
Common questions about traumatic and acquired brain injury are answered in user friendly language for families, survivors and caregivers. Explains common terms of closed head injury, penetrating head injury, concussion, skull fracture, shaken baby syndrome, and second impact syndrome. Lists various consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and gives examples of other types of acquired brain injuries.
As a survivor of a brain injury and a family member, John Richards and Marjorie Crigler discuss the meaning of recovery, the importance of family support, and give tips for rebuilding life after brain trauma. They tackle the tough questions of how families can help the survivor, whether faith makes a difference, what to expect when the survivor comes home, and how to figure out what’s next. They identify the intangible ingredients to brain injury recovery that can make a difference to the survivor and family.