Beginning Stages of Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery

Oct 20, 2014
Tagged with: Beginning Stages of Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery

Traumatic brain injury, often called TBI, occurs when the soft tissues of the brain strike the interior surfaces of the skull. The injury to the brain can range from mild to severe, and it can cause a number of symptoms, including speech and language problems, gait problems, headache, unconsciousness or even coma. Medical support is critical in minimizing the damage from TBI and in helping the patient to maximize their recovery.

Severity and Recovery

The severity of the trauma to the brain is directly related to how quickly or easily the patient recovers. Severe trauma may involve fracture of the skull, damage to portions of the brain or minor stretching of the neurons. Bleeding and brain swelling is a common occurrence in TBI, and intensive medical treatment is required to prevent further damage to brain tissue. Once the patient is stabilized in this respect, further efforts to restore brain function can be undertaken. Outcomes for recovery are riskier for children under the age of 2 and for individuals over the age of 60.

Early Stages of Recovery

After years of study and experience with cases of TBI, physicians recognize a number of different measures of the early stages in the recovery process:

Coma

The patient is unaware of surroundings and unresponsive to stimuli.

Vegetative State

The patient exhibits gross wakefulness, but no cognitive responses. He or she

appears to have sleep and wakefulness periods. ·

Minimally Conscious State

The patient is purposefully awake and can respond to some commands.

Confused State

The patient recovers speech, but has some amnesia. He or she may be agitated,

confused or have severe attention deficits.

Post-Confused, Evolving Independence

The patient experiences less amnesia,

has improved cognitive function and begins some self-care.

 

Beyond the Early Stages

When the person has completed the early stages of recovery, he or she can then begin the more intensive work of therapy to restore other types of function, such as speech, memory, ability to walk and other skills. Memory stimulation can be an important therapy in helping the patient to regain full cognitive function and abilities. According to the National Institutes of Health, research indicates that electrical deep brain stimulation can have a beneficial effect on memory recovery in patients who have experienced traumatic brain injury.

 

 

References:

http://www.msktc.org/tbi/factsheets/Understanding-TBI/The-Recovery-Process-For-Traumatic-Brain-Injury http://www.ddas.vermont.gov/ddas-policies/policies-tbi/policies-tbi-documents/tbi-trng-modules-workbks/training-module-3-stages-of-recovery http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23016534

Author: Shelly Duell



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