WHAT IS ACQUIRED BRAIN INJURY (A.B.I.)***?
It is the impairment of normal brain function due to a neurological insult, such as: open or closed head injuries (traumatic brain injury or T.B.I.), select cerebral vascular lesions (i.e., aneurysm, hemorrhage, brain stem stroke), hypoxic event, intracranial tumor, select neurological diseases (i.e., encephalopathy). Well, that is a technical definition. Not very satisfying, is it? It's very impersonal and doesn't really even begin to answer the question. For something as complex as brain injury, there are no easy definitions or answers.
HOW DO WE RECOGNIZE AN ACQUIRED BRAIN INJURY?
Acquired Brain Injury has many levels of intensity. It is possible that someone can acquire a brain injury without loss of consciousness or external bruising or tangible confirmation (i.e., CAT Scans, Skull X-rays, EEGs, etc.). Individuals who have even a mild brain injury may continue to experience a wide variety of symptoms than can have life-changing implications. Keep in mind, however, that brain injury is different and unique for each person.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS/SYMPTOMS & EFFECTS OF AN ABI?
Symptoms and related effects fall into four major groups: Cognitive, Perceptual, Physical and Behavioral/Emotional. Keep in mind that because of the uniqueness of each injury, some survivors may or may not face or exhibit some or all of the symptoms. The number of symptoms doesn't reflect on the impact that the injury will have on the survivors. Much of that depends on where the injury is located. The following is, by no means, a complete or comprehensive listing.
Behavioral and Emotional
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO RECOVER FROM AN ACQUIRED BRAIN INJURY?
Each injury is different and unique to the survivor and all survivors have different capacities for recognizing and compensating for the symptoms they exhibit. Much depends on getting the correct diagnosis and treatment and ensuring that good support systems are in place for the entire family. Changes and improvements continue although sometimes they are so slight they are hard to notice. It doesn't happen overnight!
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