A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause damage to the brain that may contribute to both short term and long term difficulties with communication and cognitive functioning. An injury of this kind can occur both from the impact of an external force or an internal event such as a stroke, tumour or disease.
A brain injury usually occurs following an series of events which can all be damaging. There is the initial trauma that causes direct damage to the brain, then minutes afterwards there maybe further injury because there is a lack of oxygen to certain parts of the brain. In the days that follow further damage may occur due to bleeding, bruising and swelling. Depending on the severity of the injury, initial symptoms may vary from a concussion to coma. Many people are not aware that a concussion is an injury to the brain and can have affects that last for several weeks. Several concussions over a short period of time can lead to longer term difficulties. There is now a greater focus on head injuries sustained by sports-people as there is evidence that cumulative blows to the head (from sports such as Rugby) can result in long term damage to the brain.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
An injury to the brain can have huge, far reaching effects on an individual’s health and well-being. An injury to the brain can present in a number of ways and cause a number of different difficulties. Click on the links below to read more:
- Motor difficulties
- Cognitive difficulties
- Fatigue and Tiredness – Click Here
- Memory difficulties – Click Here
- Communication difficulties – speech and language – Click Here
- Social Skills and the social use of language – Click Here
- Executive functioning – skills for planning, organising and initiating daily tasks – Click Here
- Attention difficulties – Click Here
- Behaviour – inappropriate behaviour, anger, depression etc – Click Here
- Reading and writing difficulties – Click Here
An holistic approach is the most effective way to approach treatment and rehabilitation, with a team of health professionals providing a range of services and therapy. The team approach is important because certain goals cannot be achieved without the expertise of several people. Although recovery can be a slow process many strategies can be put in place to facilitate communication and daily living skills. To read about adaptations you can make at home to help an individual with Brain Injury, Click Here.
For more information about communication difficulties, and ideas and strategies to help communication, see our Resources, or for specific fact-sheets that provide information and strategies to improve communication and cognitive skills following a TBI, go to the Downloads Section.
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