The Many Different Types of Brain Injuries

Brain injuries can happen to any age group; they don’t discriminate against gender or race or social standing. However, just like us, brain injuries are all unique and can exist in many shapes and forms. People generally think of concussions when they think of brain injuries and why not, it’s all over the news as a result of football. However, did you know that there are different types of brain injuries that qualify for rehabilitation?

Keep reading for a breakdown of different types of brain injuries

Traumatic Brain Injury:

Traumatic brain injuries happen when the brain experiences trauma, hence the name. Often, this is the result of the brain suddenly hitting the side of the skull.  This can result from a fall, car crash, sports injury, whiplash, or even a gunshot wound to the head. Concussions are the most common type of traumatic brain injury or TBI, and are often caused by sports injuries or falls.

Concussion prevention in the sports world has thankfully increased over the past few years, as athletes, parents, coaches, and educators become more familiar with symptoms and the long-lasting effects of this type of brain injury. Additionally, helmets have improved, as has concussion protocol to protect athletes from repeat head injuries within a small time frame.

However, theses efforts must continue past the news cycle if we are to see real results in concussion prevention. Be sure you talk to your doctor or athletic trainer if you suspect you or someone you know might have experienced a concussion.

Another unlikely place concussions appear is in the elderly population. Elderly people are susceptible to falls as a result of medications interacting, decreased muscle tone, and safety issues around the home. Assessing your fall risk is the first step to decreasing your chances of experiencing a concussion or breaking a bone. Talk to your doctor about a physical exercise program and ask how you can prevent a fall or a stroke, as we will read about in the next category.

Treating Traumatic Brain Injuries at NRH

Northeast Rehab is specialty certified to treat traumatic brain injury patients. In order to meet the unique needs of patients recovering from a brain injury, we have Certified Brain Injury Specialists (CBIS) on staff. These therapists are preeminent brain injury clinicians having passed a rigorous set of courses, a written examination and nationally-recognized credentials. Additionally, our therapists are continuously trained in the latest advances in brain injury rehabilitation.

Visit our Brain Injury Recovery Page to learn more.

 

Stroke

 

Strokes are essentially “brain attacks,” caused when blood flow to an area of the brain stops, oftentimes as a result of a clot.

When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. Strokes are generally in their own category, however, it is technically an injury to the brain.

 

Strokes are the result of a few different factors mainly relating to your cardiovascular health. Your age, genetic history, family health history, lifestyle habits, blood pressure, cholesterol score, gender, race, and existing medical conditions. Obviously you are able to control only a handful of these, but every little bit helps.

Talk to your doctor about your stroke risk and learn how to spot a stroke by thinking FAST.

Hemorrhagic and Aneurysmal: A hemorrhagic stroke is when a brain aneurysm bursts or when a weakened blood vessel leaks. Blood then spills into or around the brain causing swelling and pressure.

Ischemic: Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke that occur, accounting for nearly 87 percent of all strokes. This type of stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain, depriving it of oxygen. Cells in the brain then start to die, making timing crucial: the faster you catch it, the better the outcome is likely to be.

Strokes can cause a variety of problems, such as difficulty with language, problems walking, and more that affect an individual’s ability to lead a normal life. Here at NRH we use a variety of therapies to address any and all ailments or symptoms resulting from a stroke.

 

Anoxia and Hypoxic

An Anoxic Brain Injury also occurs as a result of lack of oxygen to the brain. A Hypoxic Brain Injury results when there is very little oxygen reaching the brain. These two types of brain injuries can be caused by choking, smoke inhalation, cardiac arrest and drug overdose. Unfortunately, New Hampshire and Massachusetts are experiencing an infamous opioid epidemic; it remains to be seen whether hypoxic brain injuries resulting from accidental overdoses has increased over the past few years as well.

 

Blast Exposure

This type of traumatic brain injury is unfortunately often seen in combat troops. Blast exposure is exactly what it sounds like, exposure to a strong blast/explosion that may or may not include the person hitting their head on another object or the ground. The blast alone can cause a brain injury as a result of a wave of pressurization, followed by under-pressurization. Organs like the lungs, brain and eyes are very susceptible to rapid changes in pressure, such as those seen in a blast, and can become injured. Vestibular problems may also result, as with most brain injuries, and symptoms may unfortunately last for years. It is important to treat brain injuries soon after the initial impact to achieve the best possible recovery.

Toxic Encephalopathy

There are quite a few different sub-types of Toxic Encephalopathy. However, they all generally describe a disease or exposure to chemicals (toxins) that affect the function of your brain. For a full listing, please visit our friends over at Healthline.

Metabolic Encephalopathy

This type of brain injury is caused by systemic illness such as diabetes, renal failure, heart failure or liver disease. Thankfully it can be reversed once the underlying issue is addressed in a timely manner

 

Neoplastic

Neoplastic Brain Injuries involve the growth of tumors in or over the brain, leading to direct damage or indirect damage from pressure. Brain injuries can also result from surgery to remove these masses.