What are the Different Types of Brain Trauma?

Erin Oxendine

Brain trauma occurs when a person has an injury to the brain, and can be mild or severe. When a person sustains trauma to the brain, he or she may lose motor functions along with cognitive and physical abilities.Physicians use the Glasgow Coma Scale to determine the extent of brain trauma. This is a neurological scale that measures the level of a person’s consciousness. The Rancho Los Amigos Scale is used to monitor the recovery of the brain.

A neurosurgeon may need to perform emergency surgery on a patient who has sustained a traumatic brain injury.
A neurosurgeon may need to perform emergency surgery on a patient who has sustained a traumatic brain injury.

There are several different types of brain injuries. A mild injury may cause temporary symptoms while a severe injury could require years of rehabilitation. The two most common types of brain trauma are traumatic brain injuries and acquired brain injuries.

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

Traumatic brain injury occurs from external force on the head or neck. These injuries can occur from blows to the head or aggressive twisting of the neck. Some ways this could happen include falls, motor vehicle accidents, and vigorous shaking. In infants, Shaken Baby Syndrome is a type of traumatic brain injury.

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Traumatic brain injury may lead to coma.
Traumatic brain injury may lead to coma.

An acquired brain injury is caused by a condition or illness. This type of injury can result from strokes, toxic poisoning or brain tumors. Degenerative diseases and lack of oxygen may also cause this type of brain trauma.

An acquired brain injury is caused by a condition or illness, such as a brain tumor.
An acquired brain injury is caused by a condition or illness, such as a brain tumor.

Bleeding in the brain is another kind of brain injury. Blood vessels in the brain can rupture resulting in an intracerebral hemorrhage. Symptoms may include headaches, loss of vision, and eye pain.

Bleeding in the brain is one type of brain injury.
Bleeding in the brain is one type of brain injury.

When a person is diagnosed with a brain trauma, doctors will decide if rehabilitation is needed. Rehabilitation programs may vary depending on the type of brain injury and estimated recovery time. Treatment usually consists of physical therapy and daily activities. In extreme cases, patients may need to learn how to read and write again.

Car accidents are a common cause of traumatic brain injury.
Car accidents are a common cause of traumatic brain injury.

Therapy for brain trauma typically takes place on an outpatient basis or through an assisted living facility. Therapy may last several weeks, months or even years, and sometimes the patient is not able to make a full recovery.

It may not always be obvious when a person has sustained a brain injury. The patient may have hit his or her head and not have symptoms until a few hours later. Some signs of a possible brain injury are headaches, confusion and loss of memory. If brain trauma is not treated, it could cause permanent damage or death.

Brain injuries can affect the patient and the patient’s family, with emotional and financial hardship. When problems arise with treatment or financial issues, a brain injury lawyer or specialist may need to intervene.

The human brain.
The human brain.

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