Recent advances in traumatic brain injury treatment
A traumatic brain injury alters every aspect of a person’s life. Today, it is the leading cause of death and disability for those under the age of 45. In order to combat this issue, researchers of pathobiology have been working to develop neuroprotective strategies. The majority have been unsuccessful, but there are a few promising clinical findings that have led to advancements in the treatment of these injuries.
What Is Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injury can occur in a wide variety of ways, but is most often caused by a violent blow or jolt to the head. Any object that penetrates brain tissue, like a bullet or shattered piece of skill, will also result in this injury. A tackle in football, car accident, or serious fall can all be the culprit.
These brain injuries are measured from mild to severe, with the mild variety affecting brain cells temporarily. Those that are more severe often leave bruising, torn tissues, and bleeding in the brain, resulting in long-term symptoms. When an impact is serious enough, traumatic brain injury can lead to death. Symptoms include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Confusion, disorientation, or being in a daze
- Nausea and vomiting
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Speech impairment
- Sleep disturbances, either an inability to sleep or sleeping excessively
- Dizziness often combined with a loss of balance and coordination
- Sensory impairments like blurred vision or ringing in the ears
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Memory and mood impairments
- Depression and anxiety
- Comatose states
Advancements in Treatment
The majority of aid for traumatic brain injury focuses on prevention, like seatbelt legislation and helmet use. In cases of mild injury, the best prescription is often rest until they can slowly resume daily activities. For more severe injuries, relieving pressure inside the skull as well as clotted blood and skill fractures is vital.
Several medications are commonly employed, as well, ranging from anti-anxiety to anticonvulsants and stimulants. Various forms of therapy including physical, speech, and cognitive are also common treatments to help victims rehabilitate.
Occupational therapy and vocational counseling are newer forms of treatment for those with traumatic brain injuries. Occupational therapy focuses on helping individuals relearn day-to-day tasks they may have forgotten how to do from the injury, such as getting dressed or cooking.
Vocational counseling is designed to help patients get back to work. It also helps individuals find work opportunities and assists them in any challenges they may face upon returning to the workforce. Cognitive therapy has also seen advancements in treating attention, perception, and judgement impairments.
The first step in the recovery process is to seek medical attention and continue to follow the plan set forth by your doctor. When suffering a brain injury due to an accident, you may also be able to seek compensation to pay for any treatments, doctors visits, and medications.
Without intensive therapies and medication, even mild symptoms will become worse as they impact every facet of your daily life. It can take months to years to recover from more severe injuries, with some people experiencing alterations for the rest of their lives. As research continues, hopeful treatments continue to emerge.