Brain damage

What Is Brain Damage?

Brain damage is an injury to the brain and brain cells. Brain damage causes the deterioration or destruction of brain cells.

What Causes Brain Damage?

Brain damage can happen for a variety of different reasons. There are several conditions that can cause brain damage, including injury and illness. Brain damage can occur due to a brain injury caused by blows to the head, a car accident, physical violence, sports injuries, and falls or accidents.

Other causes of brain injury can include:

  • Infection
  • Strangulation
  • Heart attack
  • Brain tumour
  • Brain aneurysm
  • Severe drug or alcohol abuse
  • Infection
  • Neurological illness

Types of Brain Damage

Brain damage is a result of a head or brain injury. There are two types of brain damage including traumatic brain damage and acquired brain damage.

Traumatic brain damage: This is caused by an external force that causes the brain to move inside the skull.

Acquired brain damage: This occurs in the cells of an individual. It is typically caused by pressure on the brain, such as that from a tumour.

Symptoms of Brain Damage

The symptoms of brain damage are categorised in four different areas. These include: cognitive, perceptual, physical, and behavioural/emotional.

Cognitive symptoms of brain damage:

  • Decreased attention span
  • Trouble processing information
  • Difficulty understanding others
  • Problems making decisions
  • Memory loss

Perceptual symptoms of brain damage:

  • Difficulty with time perception
  • Changes in hearing or vision
  • Problems with smell and taste
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Problems with balance

Physical symptoms of brain damage:

  • Tremors
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chronic headaches
  • Severe mental and physical fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sensitivity to light

Behavioural and emotional symptoms of brain damage:

  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Increased aggressive behaviour
  • Little tolerance for stress
  • Mood swings

Treatment for Brain Damage

Anyone who has suffered a brain injury should seek immediate medical attention. Not all brain injuries will lead to permanent brain damage, but seeking medical attention is always recommended when suffering any type of problems with the brain or head. It is important a person receives the right diagnosis to ensure proper treatment.

Brain damage is diagnosed several different ways. The degree of brain damage is established through neurological exams, neuroimaging such as a CT scan or MRI, and through various neuropsychological tests.

Frequently Asked Questions about Brain Damage

What are some causes of traumatic brain damage?

There are several causes associated with traumatic brain damage. The most common include: falls, car crashes, blows to the head, and physical assault.

Who is at risk for traumatic brain damage?

People aged 15-24 are most at risk for traumatic brain damage, due to engagement in high-risk behaviours. Adults over the age of 65 and children aged 0-4 are also at a higher risk.

How can I prevent brain damage?

There are several ways to prevent brain damage. Wearing helmets while engaging in extreme sports or riding a bicycle, wearing seatbelts while driving or riding in cars, avoid illegal drug use, do not drink and drive.

Is brain damage always permanent?

No. While brain damage can be permanent, there are many cases in which the brain will repair itself.

External Links

Brain damage, Science Daily

What is a traumatic brain injury?, Michael Paul Mason, BrainLine

Brain Damage: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, WebMD

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