What Should I Know About Brain Injury?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Brain injury refers to any sort of injury to the brain, but there are two distinct categories of brain injury that are often used. One is brain injury from acquired causes. This type of brain injury can result from a tumor, a stroke, poison, an infection, and may occur prior to or after birth. But the most frequent type of brain injury is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), in which brain injury is the result of an external force.

Mood swings and behavioral issues are possible results of brain injuries.
Mood swings and behavioral issues are possible results of brain injuries.

TBI itself may be divided into closed brain injuries and open brain injuries. A Closed Head Injury (CHI) refers to a brain injury which leaves the skull intact. This can happen if a child is shaken, or a person is jolted by a car crash. An open head injury means that there has been penetration of the skull. A head wound caused by a gunshot would be an example.

A computed tomography (CT) scan can often determine the severity of a brain injury.
A computed tomography (CT) scan can often determine the severity of a brain injury.

Not all brain injuries have similar results. A brain injury may cause a variety of changes in cognitive and physical ability, emotional volatility, and psychological makeup. It may affect a person’s ability to communicate, to think, to perceive, and to remember. Mood swings and behavior issues are also possible results, as are changes to attention and learning abilities.

Most brain injuries aren't severe, and many sufferers make a full recovery.
Most brain injuries aren't severe, and many sufferers make a full recovery.

Because brain injuries may affect learning, they are an important education and special education topic. Traumatic Brain Injury is one of the 13 disability categories that, according to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) qualifies children for special education. Acquired brain injury is handled by qualifying the child based on the specific symptoms he or she suffers, such as specific learning disability or a speech or language impairment.

Brain injuries sustained in a traumatic accident can require years of rehabilitation.
Brain injuries sustained in a traumatic accident can require years of rehabilitation.

Post-Concussion syndrome (PCS) afflicts between 30 and 80 percent of people who suffer a mild to moderate injury of the brain. The predominant experience is that PCS occurs in the seven to ten days following a brain injury and that symptoms are gone by the end of three months. It is estimated that as many as 15 percent of people who have a concussion have symptoms that last a year or longer.

Concussion symptoms can last for a year or more.
Concussion symptoms can last for a year or more.

Brain injury has also been much talked about in the early twenty-first century on account of the use of improvised explosive devices in Iraq and the number of soldiers who have survived a traumatic brain injury. By March of 2007, there had been 1,882 cases.

A mild traumatic brain injury may cause temporay or permanent damage.
A mild traumatic brain injury may cause temporay or permanent damage.
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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