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 studies. 

The number of people suffering from traumatic brain injury is underestimated as they are often misdiagnosed or classified incorrectly. Add to that that some patients don’t report mild injuries, and it becomes more evident that the number of patients with traumatic brain injuries can be high.

In 2010, the last year with reported data, approximately 2.5 million people sustained a traumatic brain injury. 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 and some of the rehabilitation and treatment options available for patients at NeuLife Rehab.

 

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 challenging to see 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)

 

Consequences of TBI

The range of severity of traumatic brain injuries is broad, from a mild concussion to persistent vegetative states. Depending on the severity of the injury, the consequences may vary. 

They include:

  1. 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 
  • lifestyle consequences 

  • unemployment 
  • loss of independence 
  • financial problems caused by medical bills, etc.

 

 

How Long is Rehab for a TBI?

How long rehabilitation lasts at TBI rehabilitation centers is dependent upon the severity of the brain damage. The patient’s response to therapy also plays a factor. Some patients can return to the same level of functioning as before the injury, while others require life-long assistance. 

Some standard instructions provided to families following neurorehabilitation include:

  • Reporting any unusual signs and symptoms that are new
  • What might be expected behaviors and symptoms specific for the patient
  • Safety and self-care education
  • Medication education 
  • Community support resources

Sometimes the effects of a TBI do not emerge until years after the injury. Patients who have had a TBI are at a higher risk of diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. This is why it is important to understand that, although progress may be made during the patient’s stay at a post-acute rehabilitation center, the patient will need ongoing long-term monitoring. 

 

What to Expect From a Neuro Rehab Center Near Me

Brain injury rehabilitation can take place in a variety of settings. There are both inpatient and outpatient TBI rehabilitation centers. There are also home-based options. Some TBI patients participate in day programs so they can go home with family at night. 

Programs are individualized but typically include:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Medication
  • Psychiatric care
  • Speech and language therapy

The appropriate program for your loved one will vary based on the type of injury and ability to participate.

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 customized to meet each patient’s goals, needs, and abilities. 

By leveraging a variety of rehabilitation services, we can 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!

 

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 providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Living with a Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) has a lot of repercussions. Depending on the severity of the injury, it can affect many areas of the patient’s life. Limited mobility, memory loss, behavioral changes – these are just some of the things that people who sustained TBI – and their families – may encounter. 

Suddenly, life becomes very different. Activities that used to come easily may now be challenging. Walking, eating, even interacting with others can seem like a big task.

Behavioral changes

Behavioral changes are often part of the new reality, and that’s understandable. After all, our brain controls every single aspect of our body and mind. The fact that we can move, speak, think – it’s all thanks to that one organ. And when it suffers damage, things change, often very drastically. 

People who are affected by TBI face many difficulties that other people may not understand or which they underestimate due to their lack of knowledge about TBI. It’s also difficult for people around the patient, that is, their friends and family. They often feel like they don’t know their loved ones anymore. 

Who is that angry, impulsive, violent person? He used to be so gentle/quiet/loving, etc. ‘Used to’ meaning: before the accident. 

Unfortunately, people affected by TBI may see a character change; in fact, it’s very common that the person who used to be patient and understanding now becomes easily frustrated and can even display violent behavior. 

The biggest challenge that families face is being patient and understanding that it’s not the person’s will to behave like that—their brain is simply taking over.   

How to Best Handle Memory Difficulties

Individuals with a TBI are especially at risk of memory difficulties. Often they remember events that happened years ago but have difficulty with remembering what happened yesterday. 

The good news is that memory generally gets better over time. 

You might also notice that they only remember parts of the events that occurred. Sometimes it is difficult for them to “fill in the blanks” about specific details. 

There are suggestions you might try as a caregiver that can help improve the memory of the patient:

  • Structured tasks and activities

  • Use memory aids such as a large calendar or notebook. Use a large dry-erase board to write out the daily schedule for the patient.

  • Allow the patient to have rest when needed. This helps to manage many of the emotions they may be experiencing. 

  • Set aside time to review tasks and to learn new information at a pace appropriate for the patient

  • Also, be sure to give all prescription medications as prescribed and speak with the physician about how medications meant to help with memory are working. 

Managing Life With a TBI

Initially, the patient must rest the first weeks after the injury. This has to be balanced with care and interventions, as the sooner they can participate in therapies, the better the outcome.

Setting routines can be very helpful. Having a consistent day can help to keep the patient from becoming overwhelmed. It also is beneficial to allow them to heal from the injury as it helps to improve memory. 

With a TBI, patients often become overwhelmed with stimuli and may have difficulty focusing. Caregivers can help by minimizing distractions and making helpful accommodations. Patience and understanding are also key to managing life with a TBI. 

It is hard for some people to understand the behaviors of patients with a TBI. They usually look “normal” on the outside but have many internal struggles; explaining the limitations of your loved one to others when necessary can generally lead to empathy and understanding.

You may feel burn-out or caregiver guilt because of the behaviors. Never hesitate to reach out to a post acute rehabilitation center for guidance of what may be an appropriate level of care for your loved one. 

Taking care of a patient with TBI

Caring for a patient with TBI requires patience and understanding. It depends on the case, but these patients require a lot of attention and care. 

A person who used to be fit and healthy may now find it impossible to perform everyday activities such as eating or going to the toilet. Although the patient’s family is always very much involved, they can’t care for their loved one on their own. 

That’s why a brain injury facility such as ours becomes a necessity. Patients get everything they need, from the necessary assistance to specific treatment, including physical and behavioral therapies, as they aim to regain as much of their independence as possible.

Integrating the patient back into the community

Experts cannot emphasize the importance of occupational therapy for patients with TBI enough. Thanks to the rehabilitation process, patients have a chance of getting back to their everyday life, or at the very least, becoming as independent as they can be in light of their injuries. 

Its goal is also to determine what the patient’s place is in the community. Will they be able to perform the same job as before the accident? And if not, what sort of job will they be capable of doing? 

Our rehabilitators work relentlessly to bring back as many skills as possible. Speech therapy, rehabilitation, physical therapy – these are just some of the components of treatment at our brain injury facility. Our goal is to integrate the patient back into the community. 

Neuro Rehab in Florida – Community Integrated Rehabilitation

Our Community Integrated Rehabilitation program is a hallmark of our functional approach towards rehabilitation. We embrace the philosophy that each individual, regardless of disability, has the potential to live a meaningful life in their community. 

Significant emphasis is placed on facilitating community re-entry, with hands-on and real-life therapeutic opportunities to bridge rehabilitation with reality. Our Community Integrated Rehabilitation is designed to prepare the patient and family for a successful return home with the highest level of functional independence. 

We achieve this seamless transition through a combination of therapies, simulated activities, and outings, education, and training.

Community Integrated Rehabilitation Services include:

  • Dedicated Functional Improvement Team (FIT)
  • Therapeutic community outings via NeuLife accessible van
  • Vocational resources & therapies
  • Simulated activities of daily living
  • Group therapies & activities for socialization
  • Skill Building Trips

Wondering, “Where is the Best Neuro Rehab Center Near Me?”

NeuLife is a Residential Post-Acute Rehab facility specializing in Catastrophic Rehabilitation for Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, and other complex injuries. Its program includes physical medicine and rehabilitation, medical management, psychiatric and neuropsychological services, physical, occupational, speech, cognitive therapies, behavioral, dietary, 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 your loved one is in need of traumatic brain injury rehabilitation, please give us a Call at 800.626.3876. You can also make a referral or schedule a tour.

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 providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Depression after a brain injury

Research has found that patients with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are three times more likely to experience depression than those who have not had one. For every ten people who do not have a brain injury, approximately one person will have depression. For every ten people who do, around three people will. 

Both the patient and their caregivers must educate themselves to recognize the signs and lower the chance of anxiety. At NeuLife, we help prepare patients and families for a successful return to everyday life by guiding them through the whole process of brain injury rehabilitation

Unfortunately, researchers have not determined specific factors that cause depression after brain injuries or when it usually starts. Some people experience depression right after their injury, while others develop it a year or more later. 

Regardless of when your brain injury occurred, it is essential to tell your doctor about any depressive symptoms. The doctors and health care professionals at NeuLife will then ask you a series of questions or fill out a questionnaire or form to aid in diagnosing you.

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Symptoms of depression

These are some symptoms of early depression. Usually  the symptoms last at least a week or more and interfere with everyday life:

  • Feeling down, depressed, or sad most of the day or even longer
  • Changes in your sleeping habits, such as sleeping poorly or sleeping more than usual
  • Losing interest in everyday activities like your favorite hobbies, time with family members, or going out with friends
  • Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco
  • Abnormal decrease or increase in appetite
  • Intense feelings of sadness, helplessness, and hopelessness
  • Thoughts of suicide

Often, people suffering from depression do not notice their symptoms, leaving it up to caregivers and close friends or family to be attentive to mood or behavioral changes.

Remember some amount of sadness after a brain injury is normal. But when it lasts for a prolonged period of time and the symptoms do not seem to improve, then it may be depression. Fortunately, post-acute rehabilitation offers effective treatment options specializing in TBI and depression. 

 

How is depression treated?

Depression is usually treated two ways:

  • Personal counseling with a health care professional through psychotherapy. You and a trained psychologist or psychiatrist will talk about your symptoms and develop ways to deal with them.
  • Antidepressants prescribed by a doctor. It would help if you didn’t start taking them without a consultation with a specialist.

The most important component in treating depression at a neuro-rehabilitation centre is having the support of loved ones. If the patient is experiencing depression, they may feel lonely, worthless, or like they do not belong. 

If those close to the patient make an effort to show love and compassion, it can aid in healing. A simple way to accomplish this is by opening up lines of communication and including them in social activities when they occur. 

 

What is the Cause of Depression when a loved one has had a TBI?

There are a few factors that may contribute to depression if your loved one has had a TBI. For one, they may have experienced actual physical changes in the brain due to the injury. Sometimes there is damage to the part of the brain that is in charge of regulating emotions. 

There are also lifestyle changes that a TBI impacts. The patient may experience job loss, disability, or loss of income. Any of these factors can contribute to depression. 

Also, specific individuals may be more at risk of suffering from depression. There may be a hereditary component, personal history, substance abuse, or another risk factor involved. If these factors are present before the injury, the patient is more at risk for depression. 

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Learn More About NeuLife – One of The Best Brain Injury Residential Facilities

NeuLife is a Residential Post-Acute Rehab facility specializing in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation, neurological disorder rehab and more. 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.

For more information about NeuLife Rehabilitation Services, please give us a call at 800.626.3876, or visit our website. You can also make a referral or schedule a tour!

 

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 providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

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 rehabilitation, for which we will cover in this article. 

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What are the Benefits of Residential Rehabilitation? 

Structure

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

Residents can make use of the many site amenities. These include: 

  • A full-service kitchen with a trained chef
  • Arts and crafts room
  • Theatre
  • An outdoor garden
  • Equine therapy
  • Pet Visitation

We can offer such amenities on our campus because we are the largest residential rehab in Florida. Our staff provides a delicate balance between activities and therapies that allows for rest and entertainment between intensive rehabilitation sessions.

Community

Many people who have had severe 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. 

Therapies help address not only patients’ physical requirements, but also their emotional and spiritual needs. Our neuro rehab center offers the least restrictive environment possible, so patients retain both a sense of privacy and freedom. You can trust your loved one is being cared for, lessening the burden while all adjust to the diagnosis.

At NeuLife Rehab, everyone you meet during the day will understand the pain and suffering your condition causes. There is no need to justify or explain yourself. Fellow patients often share their own stories of struggle and success, and our professional staff serves as knowledgeable and compassionate guides. Whenever you’re at a challenging moment, someone will be there to help you through it.

Focus

Freed from work, school, friends, and family obligations, a person at a residential rehab facility can entirely focus on themselves. Residential treatments aim to achieve more than physical health. People address their past issues and develop new healthy habits and focus on their psychological well-being. 

People with complicated conditions can start loving themselves again and creating 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 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 need structure, community, and focus on solving your issues.

Common Conditions Addressed at Residential Rehabilitation

There are several reasons behind the need for post-acute rehabilitation. The care plans are specially designed based on the diagnosis as well as every individual’s needs. The team structures therapies and medical care based on what may ensure the best outcome for the patient at our neurorehabilitation center. 

Our clinical experts see patients who have suffered from:

  • Brain injuries such as TBI, ABI, and MBI
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Strokes
  • Catastrophic injuries
  • Orthopedic injuries
  • Other neurological disorders

All programs are designed so the patients can accomplish their goals in life and, over time, can make a healthy transition back into their community. 

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Want to know more about NeuLife Rehab?

NeuLife is an inpatient neuro rehab for TBI patients in Florida. We help patients recover from traumatic brain injury, stroke, brain tumors, spinal injuries, and other neurological diseases that may require rehabilitation. 

Our facility successfully helps patients through structured programming, including speech, physical therapy, medical care, skills development, nutrition and exercise, and mental health therapies, including CBT. 

Call us or schedule a tour, and our staff will assist you with all your queries. We want to make your return to everyday life comfortable and quick. You can also make a referral.

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.

Brain Injury and Heart Attack: How are They Related?

Brain damage or injury is a condition wherein the brain cells are destroyed or deteriorating. Brain injury is one of the main contributors to the huge number of disabilities and deaths in the United States every year. Brain damage happens as a result of a traumatic brain injury or acquired brain injury (non-traumatic). Depending on the severity, some patients take years to fully recover from it. In order to recover well from brain trauma, patients have to undergo different kinds of therapy from the best brain injury rehabilitation centers.

Brain injury in numbers

Brain injury occurs when there is damage to the brain that causes temporary or permanent cognitive, psychosocial, or physical impairment. It has two general types: traumatic and non-traumatic.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that there were 2.87 million incidents of traumatic brain injury in 2014. A staggering 837,000 of these cases happened in children. These numbers continue to climb every year.

On the other hand, stroke, which is one of the most common non-traumatic injuries, affects 7.8 million people. This is 3.1% of the country’s adult population

Heart attacks in numbers

A heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction, happens when a part of the heart is not receiving enough blood flow. The longer the heart is deprived of blood and oxygen, the greater the damage to the myocardium (heart muscle). Once damaged, the heart will be inefficient in pumping out blood.

One American suffers a heart attack every 40 seconds, according to the CDC. In fact, there are approximately 805,000 cases of heart attacks in the United States every year.

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Brain Injury and Heart Attacks: How are They Related?

A heart attack is one of the non-traumatic causes of brain injury. This means that a person having a heart attack can also suffer from a stroke and brain injury.

According to Harvard Health, the risk factors for strokes and heart attacks are almost identical. These include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, cigarette smoking, diabetes, and a sedentary lifestyle.

As mentioned previously, a heart attack happens when there is a blockage in an artery that supplies blood to the myocardium. Because of this, the blood flow to the heart is cut off, resulting in tissue damage, tissue death, and altered electrical conduction. When these happen, the heart will no longer be efficient in pumping blood throughout the body.

Poor blood supply is the formula for tissue damage. This includes kidney damage and brain damage. Likewise, without the pumping movement of the heart, the blood in the blood vessels would no longer flow and will start to stagnate. In people with high cholesterol levels and diabetes, this can make the blood viscous, leading to the formation of blood clots. When these clots form, they block the artery that supplies blood to the brain tissues, which can result in an ischemic stroke.

Doctors measure the stroke risk of a heart attack patient using the CHADS-VASc assessment. If the patient belongs in risk categories 1 and 2, the patient will be given appropriate pharmacologic therapies to prevent a stroke.

The Brain and Oxygen

To better understand the relationship between heart attacks and brain damage, let’s discuss the role of oxygen. Your brain needs an adequate oxygen sypply in order to function normally. Studies have shown that brain cells die when levels of oxygen in the brain significantly drops even just for several minutes. If the brain is deprived of oxygen longer than a few minutes, brain damage can occur. This injury is referred to cerebral hypoxia or anoxic brain injury.

What Happens to the Brain After a Heart Attack?

As mentioned above, blood flow to and from the heart is cut off during a heart attack. Blood carries oxygen to the organs including the brain. So, during a heart attack, oxygen supply to the brain is also cut off. This is why around half of people who survive a heart attack often develop cognitive issues such as:

  • Memory loss

  • Anomia, which refers to the difficulty in processing the meaning of words

  • Difficulty in executive functions, including reasoning, judgment, information processing, and decision-making

  • Difficulty processing visual information

Rehab and Therapy for Heart Attack-Related Brain Injury

Heart attacks are very common. While there are ways to keep yourself healthy and reduce your risk for heart problems that may lead to a heart attack, there’s no guarantee that you won’t suffer from one. Patients who are unfortunate to experience a heart attack, but fortunate to survive it, can fully recover from the associated cognitive issues through timely and proper post acute brain injury rehabilitation, such as what we offer here at NeuLife Rehab.

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Looking for Inpatient Neuro Rehab Near Me – Learn More About Neulife Rehab – Your Right Choice!

NeuLife is a Residential Post-Acute Rehab facility specializing in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation, neurological disorder rehab and more. As one of the best brain injury rehabilitation centers in Florida, 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. 

For more information about NeuLife Rehabilitation Services, please give us a call at 800.626.3876, or visit our website. You can also make a referral or schedule a tour!

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 providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.