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UNDERSTANDING THE EFFECTS OF A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY

EFFECTS OF A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURYThe brain is one of the most complex and fascinating organs in the human body.  It controls our senses, our imagination, our thoughts, our motion, our balance, and our ability to learn new things.  It also controls our involuntary actions, such as digestion, our heartbeat, and our breathing.  In other words, the brain is the central computer that controls all the functions of the body.  The phrase we are our brain is certainly no exaggeration.

Considering the brain’s complexity, it is not always possible to determine what the effects of a brain injury will be for all cases and persons.  However, understanding the effects of a traumatic brain injury can be possible in most cases by determining the severity of the traumatic brain injury, that is, whether the brain injury is mild, moderate, or severe.  This can be accomplished by conducting thorough physical and medical exams, which can range from a standard medical history, imaging studies, and examinations by experienced and trained neurologists and neuropsychologists.

While symptoms and/or signs may be apparent in moderate to severe brain injury cases, that is not always the case with mild traumatic brain injuries where the tests may not find the injuries.  This failure can lead to misdiagnosis and, as a result, to improper treatment.

The effects of a traumatic brain injury, regardless of its severity, will usually be manifested by one or several of the following symptoms[1]:

  • Headaches
  • Fuzzy or blurry vision
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Sensitivity to noise or light
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Balance problems
  • Feeling tired, having no energy
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering new information
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • More emotional
  • Mood changes
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Sleep less than usual
  • Trouble falling Sleep

There can be other effects associated with a traumatic brain injury.  However, we cannot fully understand such effects if we do not know the main parts of the brain, and their respective role in a human’s body.  The brain is composed of the:

  1. Frontal lobe:  This is the part of the brain that controls a person’s cognitive skills, such as emotional expressions, problem solving, memory, language, etc.  This part is in charge of our personality and social behaviors.  An injury to this part of the brain could lead to problems such as post-traumatic amnesia, attention and/or concentration issues, word-finding difficulty while reading, comprehension issues, trouble remembering what you are reading, planning, organizing and executive functioning issues, speech or language issues, reduced reasoning, impaired problem-solving skills, and poor insight into problems, among others.
  2. Parietal lobe:  This part of the brain which is located at the center of the brain, is in charge of interpreting impulses that come from the skin, such as pain, touch, warmth, and cold, among other sensations, therefore, an injury to this part of the brain can limit such functions.
  3. Temporal lobe:  This part of the brain controls the ability to interpret all of the information that we hear and smell.  In addition, this part of the brain allows a person to recognize and interpret the meaning of words.  Therefore, an injury to this part of the brain can cause problems such as comprehension issues, and misunderstanding what is said by others.
  4. Occipital lobe:  This part of the brain is responsible for receiving input from the eye to the brain, and which is in charge of interpreting colors, and visual images.  An injury to this part of the brain can lead to visual impairments and/or other vision related problems (e.g. blurry vision, double vision, light sensitivity, etc).
  5. Cerebellum:  This part of the brain is responsible for controlling “movement” functions, and muscle coordination.  The ability to move, walk, talk, stand up, and other physical activities is controlled by this part of the brain.   It is also in charge of controlling other aspects such as balance, muscle tone, and voluntary movements.  An injury to this part of the brain can limit all of these functions.

If you or a loved one have suffered a head injury and feel there may be symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, we recommend you to contact us immediately.  Our experienced attorneys are ready to help you get the compensation you are entitled to if the injury was caused by another party’s negligence, and will definitely help you navigate through the complexities of this type of injury cases.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/symptoms.html