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TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY MISCONCEPTIONS (5 THINGS PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND)

Why misconceptions happen:

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States is approximately 1.5–2 million cases per year, and it is the foremost cause of injury and neurological disability among children, young adults and seniors. Despite the frequency with which it occurs, the general public maintains misconceptions about traumatic brain injuries.

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Because of the prolonged (and at times incomplete) recovery process, TBI patients may go back to their roles in their respective communities while still dealing with their particular deficits, and while undergoing the rehabilitation process. Due to existing misconceptions about TBI, they are often expected to perform their activities at the same level as pre-injury. When this occurs, it can often lead to frustration and anger which can, in turn, impede the healing process.

Here you can read about the five main misconceptions society has about people with TBI:

1. Emotional needs

A common misconception is that people who have experienced a traumatic brain injury no longer have the same emotional needs. While their quality of life and cognitive and physical functions may differ, people with have suffered a brain injury have the same emotional needs as each one of us: they want to feel loved, useful, needed, to be treated with respect, to have personal space, and to retain control over their lives.

2. Being part of the dialogue

Many people believe that an adult with a brain injury shouldn’t be a part of the discussion concerning his or her care, treatment, or any other plans to assist in solving the individual’s challenges. It is sometimes difficult for loved ones to accept the fact that it is important for a person with a brain injury to be part of any dialogue concerning his or her treatment, care, prognosis, or rehabilitation options.Brain Injury Clinic 1024x671 - TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY MISCONCEPTIONS (5 THINGS PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND)

If possible, even the most trying or upsetting information should be discussed with an adult who suffers from a TBI.

3. Misdiagnoses in TBI

According to Thomas J. Guilmette, it is not only the general public who hold misconceptions about TBI victims; even health professionals who don’t specialize in brain injuries have problems correctly assessing the length and extent of recovery, and who don’t have the knowledge about the multiplicity of deficits (mainly with respect to mental and behavioral impairments). Occasionally, patients with a TBI are even misdiagnosed as learning disabled or mentally ill.

That is why it is so important to seek professional medical help at a brain injury center or brain injury clinic, where knowledge and awareness of this condition are of the highest possible level.

4. Recovery time

Many people believe that catastrophic rehabilitation (rehabilitation after TBI) will take up to two years to complete and that the recovery will be steady — this is another misconception.

Brain injury rehabilitation is a very complex process, ideally performed at a brain injury center, where patients respond to treatment individually. No two patients are the same; whenever in doubt, ask your physician or medical professional at your brain injury clinic about therapy progress and prognosis.Screen Shot 2018 01 30 at 19.29.38 - TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY MISCONCEPTIONS (5 THINGS PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND)

A person with a traumatic brain injury may be able to do something effortlessly one day, then find the same thing problematic the next day. Even though much of the recovery process does indeed occur during the first two years, it is not necessarily complete by the end of two years — the catastrophic rehabilitation process can continue throughout a lifetime.

5. “Old normal” vs. “new normal”

For many TBI patients (and their families) getting to a point where everything is “back to normal” is the Holy Grail. Every day, they do everything in their power to come one step closer towards this goal.

Opening oneself to the possibility that the “new normal” doesn’t need to be bad may create the space needed for new dynamics and relationships in the family to blossom. No one is denying that dealing with a TBI is a challenging time for everyone, but clinging to past behaviors, traits, abilities, and ambitions has the potential to slow down recovery.

The best chance of recovery

The misconceptions listed above make it difficult for a person affected by TBI, and his or her loved ones, to regain both health and position in society. In such a trying time, what is most needed is understanding, knowledge, awareness, and empathy.

The truth is that no one can do this alone. Every patient deserves support from a great team of medical professionals to assist them throughout the process of brain injury rehabilitation. NeuLife Rehabilitation offers just that support.

NeuLife Rehabilitation is one of the largest residential post-acute rehabilitation facilities in the Southeast, with specialized rehabilitation programs for a wide range of catastrophic injuries.

Our programs are customized to meet the individual needs of each patient, and care plans are structured to promote the highest level of functional independence and successful community reintegration. Through the skills and experience of our highly trained team of clinical experts, we are able to treat a wide range of diagnoses and injuries at our brain injury center.

If you have any more questions concerning catastrophic rehabilitation or any other issue regarding traumatic brain injury (TBI), call us to make an appointment today. You can also schedule a tour to visit our brain injury clinic.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Most common non-traumatic brain injuries to be aware of (Part 2)

Read Part 1 of the article about the causes of non-traumatic brain injuries, which we target at NeuLife’s brain injury facility. Today’s article includes several other sources of non-traumatic (acquired) brain injury.

Brain Hemorrhage

Bleeding inside the brain is known as a brain hemorrhage. It’s caused by an artery in the brain bursting and causing localized bleeding in the surrounding tissues. When blood collects into a mass, a hematoma, it puts pressure on brain tissue, making brain cells die. There are several factors that may cause bleeding: head trauma, aneurysm, high blood pressure, and tumors.  

The bleeding may range from minor to life-threatening, and may temporarily impede brain function. When the bleeding spreads to other areas of the brain and deprives the brain of oxygen, the damage may be permanent.

Loss of Oxygen

A reduced supply of oxygen to the brain is called hypoxia, while total deprivation is anoxia. Anoxia is by definition more dangerous, but both can result in severe brain damage. Depending on the time of oxygen deprivation, the damage can be minor (up to one minute of deprivation) or severe (around four minutes). At the 4-6 minute mark, oxygen deprivation becomes fatal.

The brain can be deprived of oxygen as a result of the following actions:

  • Drowning
  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Allergic reactions to various substances
  • Drug and alcohol overdoses
  • Physical assaults
  • Strokes

Surgical Complications

Every brain surgery is a risk of greater complications, such as a hemorrhage, stroke, or damage to surrounding brain tissue, which can be discovered by doctors during the surgery or after. In some cases, though, the risk of not performing surgery is greater than the risk associated with the surgery, so doctors and patients pursue it anyway.  The decision, however, needs to be mutual and the patient should be acquainted with all the risks.

NeuLife’s brain injury facility often admits patients with post-surgical conditions, as conditions in the clinic are designed specifically to ease problems with rehabilitation and speed up recovery as much as possible.

Dementia

Dementia is a loss of mental ability severe enough to interfere with normal activities of daily life, lasting for a prolonged time, but without losing consciousness. Most forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, are caused by deterioration of brain tissue. Symptoms of dementia can include problems with memory, thinking, and language, along with impairments to social skills and some behavioral symptoms. Age is the biggest risk factor for developing dementia.

Currently there are no medications to treat Alzheimer’s disease or other types of elderly dementia. Medications may improve symptoms, but none can halt or reverse progressive damage to the brain. Therefore, it is crucial that patients with dementia are placed in a safe environment, which often is a brain injury facility.

Other Causes

The above concerns are not the only potential types of acquired brain injury (non-traumatic). Some other common sources of these injuries include:

  • Seizures, especially grand mal seizures that last longer than 60 seconds.
  • Diabetes and some other endocrine system disorders.
  • Reaction to a medical procedure or prescription drug.
  • Exposure to certain environmental toxins, or as the result of asphyxiation due to smoke inhalation.
  • Drug overuse

Want to learn more about the NeuLife brain injury facility?

NeuLife is a Residential Post-Acute Rehab facility specializing in brain injury rehabilitation. Its program includes physical medicine and rehabilitation medical management, psychiatric and neuropsychological services, physical, occupational, speech and cognitive therapies, behavioral, dietary and vocational counseling, and more.  Beautifully situated on 43 acres in Mount Dora, Florida, its inpatient rehab facility comprises over 60,000 square feet and contains 54 private rooms or suites. If you would like more information about NeuLife Rehabilitation Services, please contact us.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Most common non-traumatic brain injuries to be aware of (Part 1)

There are two types of brain injuries: traumatic, when an external object causes brain tissue damage, and non-traumatic, also called acquired brain injury, the result of change, damage or infection internal to the body.

There are many different causes of non-traumatic brain injuries, some of which are more common than others. They include infections, lack of oxygen, tumors and bleeding in the brain, which we describe in detail below

NeuLife’s brain injury rehabilitation program provides care for patients with traumatic and non-traumatic injuries.

Read about traumatic brain injury rehab in this article.

Infections

Brain infections can occur as a result of viruses or bacteria. Staph, for example, spreads with the blood to the brain, damaging brain tissue. One of the most common brain infections, meningitis, can be caused by a virus or bacteria. More common to contract in childhood years, it causes strong headaches, fever, sleepiness, and nausea, among other symptoms. It should be treated immediately after diagnosis, as the complications may be severe.

A related condition, encephalitis, is an inflammation of the brain, caused by different types of viruses and characterized by brain swelling. The swelling itself can impede brain function until it goes down. It may also damage surrounding brain tissue, or result in other problems, such as a loss of oxygen to the brain or fluid in the brain. Brain swelling is often the product of an infection, but can also be due to an untreated autoimmune disorder, cancer, and even some allergic reactions.

Tumors

Not all brain tumors are cancerous, but even benign tumors can cause brain damage. When a brain tumor pushes on some brain area or deprives it of oxygen, the functionality of that area becomes limited. Removing the tumor may fix the problem, but brain surgery is always a great risk. If the tumor does not show signs of growing or changing, your doctor might suggest you leave it in place and avoid the risks of removal.

When a tumor is due to cancer, your doctor might remove it, recommend chemotherapy or radiation, or offer some combination of these treatments.

Stroke

A stroke is a cardiovascular event during which the blood supply to the brain is cut off. Without oxygen, the brain cells start to die. Stroke needs immediate response and treatment. The main reason for it is poor cardiovascular health, though anyone—including children—can suffer from a stroke. NeuLife’s brain injury rehab program specializes in taking care of patients who have suffered a stroke.

A related occurrence, called a transient ischemic attack (TIA), is sometimes called a mini-stroke. These episodes, which sometimes occur multiple times, produce a temporary blockage that quickly resolves. If you have suffered a TIA, you are at risk of a stroke. Some people also experience minor brain damage as a result of TIA.

Locked-in syndrome

Locked-in syndrome is often caused by a stroke, and results in brain damage so severe that the person loses his ability to speak or move, and may be able to only move their eyes. The person is fully conscious and realizes the situation; however, they are without the ability to interact, literally locked into his or her brain.

Want to learn more about NeuLife brain injury rehab center?

NeuLife is a Residential Post-Acute Rehab facility specializing in brain injury rehabilitation. Its program includes physical medicine and rehabilitation medical management, psychiatric and neuropsychological services, physical, occupational, speech and cognitive therapies, behavioral, dietary and vocational counseling, and more.  Beautifully situated on 43 acres in Mount Dora, Florida, its inpatient rehab facility comprises over 60,000 square feet and contains 54 private rooms or suites. If you would like more information about NeuLife Rehabilitation Services, please contact us.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

3 benefits of residential rehabilitation

Residential treatment of people with complex conditions or post-injury issues is often more successful than outpatient care. Being in a program 24 hours a day, 7 days a week may seem daunting, but this environment also provides continuous support. It is one of the main reasons why people who go through residential rehab in Florida have a better chance of getting to long-term recovery and staying healthy. There are many benefits of residential rehab Florida, but they are easily summed up in three main categories.

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1. Structure

A regular, daily schedule may seem very restrictive at first sight. However, the structure and routine allows each person to focus on getting healthy instead of managing their time. It eliminates gaps of down time and gives stability to the rougher moments of recovery. A planned schedule which involves recreational activities helps people re-develop their willpower and learn to keep commitments.

2. Community

A lot of people who have had serious injuries or have complex neurological conditions feel isolated, insecure, and misunderstood. They may also experience the guilt of putting a heavy burden on the shoulders of their nearest and dearest. At our residential rehab in Florida center, everyone you meet during the day will understand the pain and suffering your condition causes. There is no need to justify or explain yourself. In fact, fellow patients often share their own stories of struggle and success, and our professional staff serve as knowledgeable and compassionate guides. Whenever you’re at a tough moment, someone will be there to help you through it.

3. Focus

Freed from the obligations of work, school, friends, and family, a person at our residential rehab program in Florida can completely focus on themselves. Residential treatments aim to achieve more than physical health. People address their past issues and develop new healthy habits, as well as focus on their psychological well-being.  People with complicated conditions can start loving themselves again and developing a higher self esteem. The structure and the community provide an environment where patients have the opportunity to heal their body, mind, and spirit.

The ultimate goal of any residential rehab program Florida is a successful and sustainable recovery. Consider residential rehab if you have not had success with outpatient treatment, have a poor support structure at home, or simply need structure, community, and focus to solve your issues.

Want to know more?

Call us or schedule a tour and our staff will assist you with all your queries. We want to make your return to normal life comfortable and quick.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Common causes of brain injury and 6 tips to prevent it

A brain injury is any injury to the brain that affects a person physically, emotionally or behaviorally. Brain injuries can happen at birth or may arise later from trauma or an illness. Depending on the cause, a brain injury is called either traumatic or non-traumatic.

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries do not always include an open head wound or skull fracture. Loss of consciousness may not occur, either, but the one thing that all traumatic brain injuries have in common is contact. These are the most common causes of a traumatic brain injury (TBI):

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls
  • Violence or gunshot wound
  • Military attack or bomb blast

Causes of Non-Traumatic Brain Injury

A non-traumatic brain injury may also be called an acquired brain injury (ABI). This type of brain injury is the result of an illness or condition within the body, not of a blow to the head. These are the most common causes of a non-traumatic brain injury:

  • Stroke (leading cause)
  • Lack of oxygen (hypoxia)
  • Tumors
  • Other illness such as cancer
  • Brain infections or inflammation
  • Other infections

Symptoms of a Brain Injury

According to NeuLife brain injury rehabilitation center, common symptoms of traumatic or non-traumatic brain injury include:

  • Headache
  • Difficulty coordinating balance
  • Blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Other milder vision problems
  • Seizures
  • Changes in sensory perception
  • Trouble speaking and swallowing
  • Personality changes
  • Difficulty forming sentences or choosing vocabulary
  • Confusion
  • Trouble communicating
  • Difficulty with reasoning, focus and logic
  • Memory impairments

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

NeuLife brain injury rehabilitation center advises you to follow these steps to reduce the risk of brain injury

1. Wear your seat belt

NeuLife brain injury rehabilitation center specialists report that most of the clients they treat were injured in motor-vehicle accidents. Seat belts reduce serious injuries and deaths from crashes by about 50%.

  • Always wear a seat belt each time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.
  • A child should sit in the back seat of the car and be buckled in with a child safety seat, booster seat or seat belt (according to the child’s height, weight and age).

2. Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Alcohol and drugs, including prescription medications, can impair a person’s ability to drive. Alcohol-impaired drivers are involved in about one in three crash deaths, resulting in nearly 11,000 deaths annually.

3. Don’t text or use a cell phone while driving

Cell phones are the No. 1 source of driver distraction. Using a mobile device while driving is similar to having a blood alcohol level at the legal limit of 0.08, according to research from the University of Utah. Statistics show that drivers who talk on cell phones or text while driving are four times as likely to get into a car crash serious enough to injure themselves.

4. Wear a helmet

Adults and children should wear a helmet and protective gear when participating in sports and recreational activities. Always wear a helmet when:

  • Riding a bike, motorcycle or skateboard
  • Skiing, snowboarding or using inline skates
  • Playing a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey or boxing
  • Playing baseball or softball

5. Prevent falls at home

The chances of falling can be reduced in older adults by doing the following:

  • Installing handrails in bathrooms and on both sides of a stairway
  • Removing tripping hazards, such as throw rugs and clutter
  • Improving lighting throughout the house or apartment
  • Maintaining regular activity and mobility in older adults
  • Using non-slip mats in the bathtub or on the shower floor
  • Getting regular eye exams

6. Prevent head injuries in children

Head injuries can be prevented in children by:

  • Installing window guards to prevent falls out of open windows
  • Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs
  • Keeping stairs clear of clutter
  • Using playgrounds with shock-absorbing materials on the ground

Want to learn more about NeuLife brain injury rehabilitation center?

NeuLife is a Residential Post-Acute Rehab facility specializing in brain injury rehabilitation. Its program includes physical medicine and rehabilitation medical management, psychiatric and neuropsychological services, physical, occupational, speech and cognitive therapies, behavioral, dietary and vocational counseling, and more.  Beautifully situated on 43 acres in Mount Dora, Florida, its inpatient rehab facility comprises over 60,000 square feet and contains 54 private rooms or suites. If you would like more information about NeuLife Rehabilitation Services, please contact us.