According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries occur every year in this country. Due to this staggering number, it is important for everyone to be as informed as possible about the potential effects of long-term brain injuries and how to cope with them.
The following are the three most common types of injuries that may result in long-term effects:
- Closed head injuries – Often caused by the head moving rapidly in more than one direction, resulting in the brain colliding and twisting against the interior of the skull.
- Open wound injuries – Also known as a penetrating brain injury, this typically occurs when there is a break in the skull.
- Crushing injuries – These occur when the brain is compressed between two objects, causing severe trauma to the base of the skull, neck, or the brain itself.
While some brain injuries are mild and are associated with symptoms that can disappear with the help of proper medical treatment, others are more severe and often result in permanent disability. Long-term and permanent brain injury may require lifelong rehabilitation and constant care.
The following are the long-term effects of brain injury:
- Cognitive defects
- Memory problems
- Loss of sense of time and space
- Constant confusion
- Problem-solving issues
- Judgment issues
- Motor deficits
- Poor balance and coordination
- Delays in movement
- Communication deficits
- Reading and writing issues
- Vocal issues
- Speaking issues and difficulties understanding speech
- Unable to perform common actions properly
- Difficulties interacting in a social setting
- Personality changes
As soon as the brain cells are severely damaged or destroyed, they do not regenerate. The precise amount of time necessary for recovery differs from case to case and it may not be known until months later.