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Brain Injury Center – Traumatic Brain Injuries – Definition, Types, Rehabilitation options.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the brain suffers a temporary or permanent neurological dysfunction due to an accident. A brain injury is up to 10 times more common than a spine injury, according to recent studies1. The number of people suffering from traumatic brain injury is underestimated as they are often misdiagnosed or classified incorrectly. Add to that the fact that some patients don’t report mild injuries and it becomes clearer that the number of patients with traumatic brain injuries can be quite high. In 2010, the last year with reported data, approximately 2.5 million people sustained a traumatic brain injury2. Moreover, it is estimated that TBI is the cause of 30% of injury-related deaths in the US. Most brain injuries follow motor-vehicle accidents, falls or assaults and are more common among men than women, with the difference being associated with risk-taking behavior. In this article, we will take a look at the types of TBIs, as well as some of the rehabilitation and treatment options available for patients at NeuLife Rehab.

1. Types of Traumatic Brain Injury

Focal Injury – This results from direct mechanical force (such as those when the head strikes the windshield in a motor vehicle accident) and is usually associated with brain tissue damage visible to the naked eye. A common cause of focal injury is a penetrating head injury, in which the skull is perforated, as frequently occurs in auto accidents, blows to the head, and gunshot wounds. Focal injuries typically have symptoms that are related to the damaged area of the brain. Some of the injuries classified as focal include but are not limited to:

  • Cerebral contusion (when the brain is bruised as a result of contact with the skull)
  • Epidural hemorrhage (bleeding resulting from skull fracture)
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage (bleeding within the brain tissue)3


Diffuse Injury – the injury is caused by hypoxia, meningitis, and damage to blood vessels. Unlike focal injuries, which are usually easy to detect using imaging, diffuse injuries may be difficult to detect and define; often, much of the damage is microscopic. Diffuse injuries can result from acceleration/deceleration injuries. Some of the injuries classified as diffuse include but are not limited to:

  • Ischemic brain injury (as a result of insufficient blood supply to the brain)
  • Diffuse axonal injury (widespread damage to the white matter of the brain that usually results from acceleration/deceleration types of injury)
  • Swelling (an after-effect of an injury, can lead to dangerous increases in intracranial pressure4)


2. Consequences of TBI

The range of severity of traumatic brain injuries is broad, from mild concussion to persistent vegetative states. Depending on the severity of the injury, the consequences may vary. They include cognitive impairment (long- or short-term memory loss, difficulty learning and memorizing new things, short attention span, speech problems, lack of concentration, problems with reading and writing), neurological impairment (difficulty with walking, coordination, or balance; loss of taste, hearing, vision or smell; insomnia; fatigue), behavioral changes (anger, frustration, impatience, reduced self-esteem, impulsivity, anxiety, PTSD, apathy), and finally, lifestyle consequences (unemployment, loss of independence, financial problems caused by medical bills, etc.)

3. Brain Injury Rehabilitation ProgramNeuLife Rehab Programs

At NeuLife, we know that every injury is different, and each patient faces their own set of challenges. This knowledge is the driving force behind our individualized approach to care. The brain injury rehabilitation program at NeuLife offers a full continuum of services for patients who have experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI), non-traumatic/mild brain injury (MBI), and acquired brain injury (ABI), including a stroke. Our comprehensive program addresses the specific needs of each patient and family. The team focuses on maximizing abilities, providing education, increasing mobility and preventing complications. Our brain injury rehabilitation program includes clinical evaluations, medical care and therapeutic activities that are customized to meet the goals, needs and abilities of each patient. By leveraging a variety of rehabilitation services, we are able to create an integrated approach focused on helping each patient recover skills associated with activities of daily living (ADLs) using compensatory strategies and mobility aids to achieve a seamless transition into the community. Every component of the treatment plan is customized to the individual patient for guaranteed results.


If you have any questions at all, or would like to schedule a tour around our modern, patient-friendly facility, please do contact us – we are looking forward to seeing you!


This article was written on behalf of the practice by RedCastle Services. RedCastle specializes in Online Marketing for Doctors, including Medical SEO, SEO for doctors, and Medical Website Design. Contact RedCastle Services today to find out how we can help your practice increase its number of online patient referrals.

A new addition to our team – Karen Macaluso, NCM

It gives us great pleasure to announce that Karen Macaluso, a Certified Case Manager and Catastrophic Case Manager, has joined our team. Karen is our Director of Admissions Business Development & Nurse Case Manager. She is available to our patients at the our  NeuLife Rehab facility located in Mount Dora.


karen macaluso - A new addition to our team - Karen Macaluso, NCM
Karen Macaluso


Quick facts about Karen:

  • 20+ years’ Hospital and Workers’ Compensation experience
  • 14+ years in a Specialized Acute Physical Rehabilitation Hospital
  • 6+ years doing Clinical Utilization Review for Medical Necessity criteria and fraud
  • Bilingual – Spanish
  • Performs assessments, does discharge planning, coordinates services, and identifies barriers to working towards recovery




  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Associate’s in Business Administration (AA)
  • Certified Case Manager (CCM)
  • Certified Rehabilitation Nurse (CRRN)
  • CAT, Longshore, Crisis, and Defense Act


About NeuLife Rehab – brain injury facility and neuro rehab in Florida.

NeuLife Rehab is a modern, patient-friendly facility located in a beautiful area of Mount Dora, FL. Features of our facility include:

  • 54 private patient suites
  • Large accessible restrooms and living area
  • Full-service kitchen
  • Highly trained chef
  • Fully equipped therapy rooms
  • Training kitchens
  • Skills retraining laundry room
  • Arts & crafts room for sparking creativity and improving fine motor skills
  • Accessible theater
  • Non-denominational chapel on-site
  • Cozy sitting rooms for family gatherings
  • Outdoor gathering areas
  • Outdoor working garden
  • Group activities to improve socialization
  • Gaming area with foosball and a pool table
  • Wii® gaming system for virtual reality rehabilitation
  • Accessible NeuLife van for seated/wheelchair transport
  • On-site equine therapy


If you’d like to find out more about brain injury rehab, neuro rehab or post acute rehab, our professional staff or facility, we encourage you to visit our website or call us at 800-626-3876 we are here to answer any of your questions. We are looking forward to seeing you!

Post Acute Rehab – Catastrophic injuries: Definition, Causes, and Prevention

When is an injury considered ‘catastrophic’?

‘Catastrophic injury’ is a widely used term but it’s not always used correctly. Many times we hear about ‘catastrophic injuries’ in various contexts – in the news, ER rooms, during sports events broadcasts, etc. One may wonder – when is the injury considered ‘catastrophic’? Unfortunately, there isn’t just one correct answer, as the universally accepted legal definition of a catastrophic injury doesn’t exist. There is however a commonly used specification that describes the injury as a severe injury to the spine, spinal cord, or brain, and may also include skull or spinal fractures, loss of a limb and severe burn injuries that leads to a permanent or long-term severe functional disability or disfigurement. Such injuries often require post-acute rehab and involve a lifetime of medical treatment, multiple surgical procedures and an extensive and difficult recovery process.

Examples of catastrophic injuries include:

  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Severe burns
  • Amputations
  • Multiple bone fractures
  • Organ damage

It can be caused by many factors, mainly accidents that cause physical trauma, such as an automobile accident. However, as mentioned in our previous article, this type of injury can also be caused during activities that we don’t normally associate with a risk of getting seriously injured, such as a football match or a cheerleading event.

What are different types of catastrophic injuries associated with?

Brain trauma – catastrophic injuries of the head may cause life-long effects, such as cognitive dysfunction, speech problems, limited mobility, etc.

Spinal cord injury – is commonly associated with full or partial paralysis, respiratory and circulatory problems, exaggerated reflexes and spasms, chronic pain, loss of bowel and bladder control.

Severe burns – infections, limited mobility, chronic pain

Amputations – limited mobility

Organ damage – can cause many different conditions, including those that are life-threatening

What are common causes of catastrophic injuries?

Some of the most common sources of catastrophic injuries are:

  • Car accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Falls
  • Sport and recreational activities
  • Construction accidents
  • Medical mistakes
  • Defective medical devices or drugs1

Preventing Catastrophic Injuries

In some cases, catastrophic injuries could be prevented. Often it is just a matter of being mindful and taking care of the necessary safety measures. Here are just a couple of suggestions on how to prevent catastrophic injuries:

  • Obeying Health & Safety guidelines in the workplace
  • Putting seatbelts on
  • Wearing protective gear
  • Be mindful of your surroundings

NeuLife Rehabilitation – the best choice for post acute rehab programs

However, even when you’re being extra careful, accidents do happen. When you or your loved one suffers from a catastrophic injury, it is a physically and emotionally challenging experience. During this difficult time, you need the best possible quality of care as well as the highest-standard professional assistance. NeuLife Rehabilitation is one of the largest residential post acute rehab programs specializing in rehabilitation for a wide range of catastrophic injuries. We are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in Brain Injury Rehabilitation Programs and Residential Rehabilitation. Our professional staff makes sure that you and your family are being taken care of by the best specialists in the area. We encourage you to find out more about our facility and our programs. If you have any questions at all, we are here for you – call us or make a referral using our easy to navigate and convenient online form. We are looking forward to helping you achieve your goals.

Read more about Post Acute Rehab

Cheerleaders and catastrophic injuries. Is cheerleading the most dangerous female sport?

 It’s a controversial question, but recent studies suggest that the answer is actually yes. If you look at the numbers, there is no doubt that cheerleading is the sport that poses the biggest risk of catastrophic injuries to sports women:

  • A study conducted by The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research (NCCSIR) found that collegiate cheerleading accounted for 70.5% of all female catastrophic sports injuries and high school cheerleading for 65.2% of all high school female catastrophic sports injuries
  • In 1980, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission reported an estimated 4954 hospital emergency room visits caused by cheerleading
  • In 2007, the number increased to 26 786, with head and neck injuries accounting for 15.1% of these visits. Almost all of the patients with injuries (98%) were treated and released, but in 2007, 221 cheerleaders were hospitalized, 217 were treated and transferred to another hospital, and 64 were held for observation.

Being one of the most popular sports among high school and college students, it’s clear that injuries connected with cheerleading are not a minor issue. As we know, it is a sport that involves a lot of acrobatics. And all kinds of gymnastic stunts, including throwing a person up to 30 ft in the air. We have to remember that cheerleading as we know it nowadays is actually  quite a recent development. Compared to 1970s pom-pom shaking and vocal cheering, cheerleading of the 2000s is a completely different – and much more dangerous – sport. Injuries are more common, including brain and catastrophic injuries.

If you read our last article on brain injuries among football players, you know just how dangerous sports can be. According to F. Mueller and R. Cantu in “Twenty-Sixth Annual Report for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research. Fall 1982–Spring 2008”: The lesson learned in football injury data collection can also be applied to cheerleading: injuries may never be totally eliminated, but with reliable injury data collection systems, constant analysis of the data, and the development, evaluation, and dissemination of effective injury prevention strategies, these injuries can be dramatically reduced.

Catastrophic injuries – where can I look for help?

If you or your loved one suffers from a catastrophic injury, you can find the best care at NeuLife Rehab, a facility that provides specialized catastrophic rehabilitation programs for a wide range of catastrophic injuries. The customized programs will meet the individual needs of each patient. Our team consists of clinical and administrative professionals with a collective 200 years of clinical rehabilitation experience.

NeuLife Rehab – Brain Injury Rehab Programs

As a leading inpatient rehabilitation facility, we are able to treat a wide range of diagnoses and injuries, such as:

  • Brain Injury (TBI, ABI & MBI)
  • Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
  • Amputations
  • Stroke
  • Catastrophic Injuries
  • Orthopedic Injuries
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Read more about our Brain Injury Center, Post Acute Rehab, and Residential Rehabilitation programs in Florida or call NeuLife today at 800.626.3876.

This article was written on behalf of the practice by RedCastle Services. RedCastle specializes in Online Marketing for Doctors, including Medical SEO, SEO for doctors, and Medical Website Design. Contact RedCastle Services today to find out how we can help your practice increase its number of online patient referrals.

Just one season of high school football increases the risks of brain injury.

You have probably already heard about the correlation between contact sports and brain injury, but perhaps you didn’t quite realize just how strong this correlation is. A study by Dr. Joseph Maldijan from UT Southwestern showed that one season of high school football alone was enough to cause physiological changes in the brain.

In the study, two small groups of high school football players were monitored over the course of a season. Their helmets were equipped with sensors which could measure the number and level of impacts to the head. Moreover all players were given preseason brain MRI scans and cognitive testing and then received the same testing postseason. This, combined with Diffusional Kurtosis Imaging (DKI), revealed physiological and functional differences in preseason and postseason results.

“All this data is pointing to the same thing — that is that one season of football has an effect on the brain”. Said Dr. Maldijan about the study.

As a sport with one of the highest levels of contact (including contact to the head), science is showing how such sports can contribute to brain injury. Fortunately, catastrophic brain injuries are relatively rare, even in football; however, they do sometimes occur.

Unfortunately, the correlation between football and brain injuries is not a new one, which is why the NFL set up the NFL Head, Neck, and Spine Committee in the 1990s. The Committee is focused on the neurological health of players and aims to reduce the incidence. And severity of brain (as well as neck and spine) injuries in the sport.

Brain injury rehab – what treatment options are available for brain injuries?

It is important to realize, catastrophic brain injuries are rare. But when they happen, what brain injury rehab programs are available? NeuLife Rehab is a provider of brain injury rehab programs at our brain injury facility in Florida and is experienced in providing the necessary treatment programs and care to rehabilitate patients who have suffered a brain injury. As an illustration the brain injury facility, situated on 43 rolling acres, has 54 private patient suites. Also a whole range of amenities available for brain injury patients, depending on their specific needs. Must be remembered that these include a full-service kitchen, fully equipped therapy rooms, an outdoor working garden, skills retraining laundry room, on-site equine therapy and many other amenities.

In terms of the brain injury rehab program itself. To explain it is administered by a multi-specialty staff, including physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, nurse case managers. In the same way psychologists, among others, depending on the individualized needs and circumstances on the brain injured patient.

Further information about NeuLife Rehab

NeuLife Rehabilitation is one of the largest residential post-acute rehabilitation facilities in the Southeast with specialized residential rehabilitation programs for a wide range of catastrophic injuries. We are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in Brain Injury Rehab Programs and Residential Rehabilitation.

Our programs are customized to meet the individual needs of each patient, especially care plans are structured to promote the highest level of functional independence and successful community re-integration. Through the skills and experience of our highly trained team of clinical experts. We are able to provide the following programs:

Where can I get more information about brain injury rehabilitation programs?

To point out read more about NeuLife’s brain injury rehabilitation program in Florida, or call NeuLife today at 800.626.3876.

This article was written on behalf of the practice by RedCastle Services. RedCastle specializes in Online Marketing for Doctors, including Medical SEO, SEO for doctors, and Medical Website Design. Contact RedCastle Services today to find out how we can help your practice increase its number of online patient referrals.