Brain injuries: what they are, causes, symptoms and treatment (2023)

general description

Brain injuries: what they are, causes, symptoms and treatment (1)

What are brain injuries?

Brain lesions are areas of damaged brain tissue. This type of damage occurs due to brain injuries or medical conditions. For example, a stroke is a type of brain injury. The damage can alter the brain and cause a wide range of symptoms, including weakness, disturbance of one or more of the senses, and confusion.

How does brain damage affect the brain?

When it comes to your brain, communication is everything. Your brain uses electrical and chemical signals to communicate within the brain itself and with areas throughout the body. When you have a brain injury, the damage can disrupt communication in the affected area of ​​the brain. The more severe the damage, the greater the disruption.

How the changes affect different areas of the brain

Different areas of the brain control different processes and functions, so the symptoms of brain damage vary depending on its location. A neurologist or other health professional uses the symptoms to locate the problem in the brain. The three main areas of the brain are the cerebrum, the cerebellum, and the brainstem.


They arebrainit is the main part of your brain. It has two halves: the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere.

Both hemispheres of the brain have four areas called lobes. are the front,time,parietalIoccipital lobes. There is also a hidden internal area below called an island.frontal lobe.

(Video) Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms

Lobe and its locationPossible conditions and symptoms with changes in this lobe
Principal: Forehead.Learning problems.
visuomotor function.
executive dysfunctionand attention problems (planning, concentration and inhibition).
Agitation and mood swings.
aphasia (podtyp Broki): Word extraction problem.
Weakness or paralysis in a specific area or side of the body.
Loss of smell (anosmia).
Time: The sides of your head.aphasia (Wernickego): Difficulty understanding words.
auditory processingdifficulties.
Parietal: The top of the head.Numbness or tingling (although this is usually not due to the brain or nerves to the extremities).
Agraphia (inability to write).
Acalculia (inability to count).
Finger agnosia (inability to recognize one's own hands and fingers).
Mixing left and right.
Insular: Under the frontal, parietal and temporal lobes.Loss of sense of taste (ageusia).
Disruption of the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).
Occipital: Nut.Cortical blindness (loss of vision due to a problem with the brain, not the eyes).
Total color blindness (acromatopsja).
Face blindness (prosopagnosia).
Trouble recognizing things you see (visual agnosia).


They arecerebellumit is a densely populated area of ​​brain tissue at the bottom of the skull. Symptoms of cerebellar lesions include:

  • dysarthria(problems with the coordination of the muscles you use to speak).
  • Dizziness.
  • Paralysis.
  • Shaking and shaking.
  • Difficulty controlling eye movements, leading to vision problems such asdouble vision (double vision).


They arebrainstemIt is a stem-like structure that connects the brain to the spinal cord. Changes in the brain stem can cause problems with heart rhythm, breathing,blood pressure, eye alignment and more.

Possible causes

What are the most common causes of brain damage?

Brain damage can occur in any condition or circumstance that can damage the brain.

Medical conditions that can cause brain damage include:

  • Tumor cerebral(including cancer).
  • Congenital disorders (conditions you have at birth) and metabolic disorders.
  • Degenerative diseases of the brain (especially age-related), such asAlzheimer disease,Dementia with Lewy bodies,Multisystem atrophy, IParkinson's disease.
  • Inflammatory and immunological conditions, e.g.multiple sclerosislubricantlupus.
  • Infections (such as microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, or amoebas).
  • Genetic conditions, for exampleHuntington's diseaselubricantwilson's disease.
  • progressive supranuclear palsy.
  • seizuresIepilepsy.
  • traces thetransient ischemic attacks (TIAs).

Injuries, injuries, and non-medical circumstances that can cause brain damage include:

(Video) Overview of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

  • concussionsinsidetraumatic brain injury.
  • Medical procedures such as surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
  • Radiation exposure.
  • Poisoning by heavy metals or other toxins.

care and treatment

How is brain damage diagnosed?

A healthcare professional may begin to suspect an injury after aneurological examination. During this exam, your health professional tests the strength of your limb muscles, checks your reflexes, and determines if your senses are working properly.

After a neurological exam, the next step in detecting brain damage is imaging scans. Some of the more common imaging technologies that can show these types of changes include:

  • Computed tomography (CT)..
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)..
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scans..

Other tests are also possible, but are usually used to detect or rule out another condition that may be causing similar symptoms. Your doctor is the best person to tell you what tests he recommends and why.

How is brain damage treated?

Brain injuries can occur for many reasons, which means there are many ways to treat them. Your provider will base his treatment recommendations on the underlying cause of the brain damage.

Some conditions that cause brain damage, such as a mild concussion, go away on their own. If the injury is not serious, treatment is unnecessary. Rest and limited activity is often all you need.

(Video) Concussion / Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Other conditions that damage the brain can be treated in a number of ways. Infections can often be treated with antibiotics or supportive care. Growths or tumors, especially easily accessible ones, can be removed surgically. Some lesions are very small and cause no symptoms or damage.

Unfortunately, there are also times when brain injuries cannot be treated. This is probably the case with injuries that cause severe damage. The same goes for incurable diseases like Alzheimer's.

Because treatment options can vary, your doctor is the best person to tell you which ones he recommends and why.

How can brain damage be prevented?

Brain damage can sometimes be prevented, depending on the cause. The types of damage that are most preventable are those that occur due to concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Prompt treatment of infections in the body can also prevent the infection from spreading to the brain and causing damage.

Some of the most helpful things you can do to prevent brain damage or at least reduce your risk of developing one include:

  • Eat a balanced diet. Your diet plays a key role in cardiovascular health. Strokes are one of the most common causes of brain damage, and it is often possible to prevent a stroke or at least delay its onset or reduce its severity.
  • Being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight. Your weight and activity level can prevent or delay conditions that affect your brain, especially circulatory problems like high blood pressure. Your doctor can determine your ideal weight range for you and help you plan how to reach and maintain it.
  • Wear protective equipment if necessary.. Head injuries, especially concussions and head injuries, are very common causes of brain injuries. The use of protective equipment, especially helmets or head protectors, is essential. Seat belts (or similar seat belts) are also crucial in preventing head injuries. Use them when recommended, whether at work or in your free time.
  • Manage your chronic illnesses. Many conditions that cause brain damage are often manageable. An example of this is epilepsy, which can often be controlled with medication. Preventing seizures or reducing their severity can help prevent damage to brain tissue.

When to call a doctor

When should I see my doctor or health professional?

Changes in the brain can indicate a serious or even life-threatening problem. For example, a stroke is a medical emergency that takes time. If you think that someone with you hasstrike, call 911 or your local emergency services number.

Other symptoms of brain damage that mean you need urgent medical attention include:

  • Sudden, severe headache, especially if it worsens over time or does not respond to over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Unexplained changes in vision, such as double vision or blurred vision, flashing lights or spots, distortions, haze, or black spots in the field of vision.
  • Seizures that last longer than five minutes or occur one after the other without enough recovery time between them.
  • Any loss of consciousness after a blow to the head or body, as well as nausea or headache immediately after such a blow.
  • Altered consciousness or behavior, such as a person suddenly acting completely differently than usual.

Note from the Cleveland Clinic

Brain injuries can occur for a number of reasons, making them a very common symptom of a brain-related condition. Some injuries are minor and require little or no treatment to heal. Others are more serious and may require medical attention, such as surgery. Unfortunately, some changes are serious, permanent, or occur for reasons that cannot be treated.

Advances in medical imaging mean that healthcare professionals can better detect and analyze changes in the brain. These imaging technologies are also crucial in planning potential treatments and predicting possible or probable outcomes for your case. Advances in the medical understanding of the brain also offer new avenues for treatment or recovery from brain damage and the conditions that cause it.

(Video) Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) Caused by Intimate Partner Violence


What are 3 types of brain injuries? ›

Types of brain injury
  • Traumatic brain injury. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain caused by a trauma to the head (head injury)
  • Mild head injury and concussion. ...
  • Stroke. ...
  • Brain aneurysm. ...
  • Brain haemorrhage. ...
  • Brain tumour. ...
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning. ...
  • Encephalitis.

What are the main causes of brain injury? ›

  • Falls. Falls from bed or a ladder, down stairs, in the bath, and other falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury overall, particularly in older adults and young children.
  • Vehicle-related collisions. ...
  • Violence. ...
  • Sports injuries. ...
  • Explosive blasts and other combat injuries.
Feb 4, 2021

What are the top 3 causes of brain injury? ›

Among the leading causes of TBI are falls, motor vehicle crashes and traffic-related accidents, being struck by or against an object, and assaults.

What are 3 symptoms of a brain injury? ›

Headache, dizziness, confusion, and fatigue tend to start immediately after an injury but resolve over time. Emotional symptoms such as frustration and irritability tend to develop during recovery. Children might be unable to let others know that they feel different following a blow to the head.

What is the most serious type of brain injury? ›

Diffuse axonal injuries are one of the most severe types of traumatic brain injury. They occur when the brain is shaken or twisted inside the skull. As the brain twists, the cerebral tissue slides back and forth until the long connecting fibers in the brain (called axons) tear. Doctors refer to this as axonal shearing.

What is the most common brain injury? ›

Concussion is among the most common forms of TBI. A concussion can happen when the head or body is moved back and forth quickly, such as during a car crash or sports injury, or from a blow to the head. Concussions are often called “mild TBIs,” because they are usually not life-threatening.

Can you recover from brain damage? ›

Recovering from a severe TBI can take a long time. Some people regain consciousness within a few days or weeks and recover quickly. Others progress more slowly and may remain in a state of impaired consciousness for months or years. Every injury is different and follows its own timeline.

How do you know if you have brain damage? ›

A medical exam is the first step to diagnose a potential brain injury. Assessment usually includes a neurological exam. This exam evaluates thinking, motor function (movement), sensory function, coordination, eye movement, and reflexes. Imaging tests, including CT scans and MRI scans, cannot detect all TBIs.

What happens if your brain gets damaged? ›

The cognitive effects of a brain injury include issues with speed of thought, memory, understanding, concentration, solving problems, using language and more.

How do you treat a head injury? ›

Treating minor head injuries

You can hold a cold compress to their head – try a bag of ice or frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel. Seek immediate medical advice if symptoms such as mild dizziness and a headache get worse.

What are 5 common causes of head injuries? ›

What causes a head injury? There are many causes of head injury in children and adults. The most common traumatic injuries are from motor vehicle accidents (automobiles, motorcycles, or struck as a pedestrian), from violence, from falls, or as a result of child abuse.

Can stress cause brain damage? ›

According to several studies, chronic stress impairs brain function in multiple ways. It can disrupt synapse regulation, resulting in the loss of sociability and the avoidance of interactions with others. Stress can kill brain cells and even reduce the size of the brain.

How long do brain injuries last? ›

In fact, depending on the severity of the injury, recovery time for a TBI may vary from a few weeks to six or more months. Each person reacts differently to injury and illness. Thus, recovery time will vary between individuals. However, the length of recovery time for TBI depends on how long a patient is unconscious.

How long does it take to recover from a brain injury? ›

A plethora of complications from traumatic brain injuries, ranging from minor cognitive delays to debilitating and life-threatening symptoms such as seizures and coma, can follow the victim for years after the injury. You need to know that brain injury recovery time can take anywhere from a few weeks to ten years.

How long do brain injury symptoms last? ›

The general conclusion seems to be that the vast majority of people who experience a mild head injury make a full recovery, usually after 3-4 months.

What is a Level 1 brain injury? ›

#1 - Mild TBI

Temporary loss of consciousness, typically just a few seconds or minutes. Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) for less than one hour of the TBI.

Can MRI show old brain injury? ›

An MRI can see subarachnoids hemorrhages, bleeding in the brain, old parts of brain damage that where parts of the brain have basically form scarring. That will show up on an MRI often. But if it's at the very smallest level, which is called Axonify shearing, most of the time that will not show up.

What are the stages of brain damage? ›

How long does it take to recover after a brain injury?
  • Stage 1 (No response)
  • Stage 2 (Generalised response)
  • Stage 3 (Localised response)
  • Stage 4 (Confused - agitated)
  • Stage 5 (Confused - inappropriate)
  • Stage 6 (Confused - appropriate)
  • Stage 7 (Automatic - appropriate)
  • Stage 8 (Purposeful - appropriate)

Do brain injuries get worse over time? ›

The effects and complications of a brain injury can worsen over time, but they can often be prevented with proper care. Staying active and motivated not only reduces your risk of decline but it increases your chances of making a full recovery.

What is the difference between brain damage and brain injury? ›

You may wonder what the difference between brain damage and traumatic brain injury is. Brain damage usually is non-traumatic, while traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the result of a blow to the head, often in an accident with negligence.

Are most brain injuries permanent? ›

While many traumatic brain injuries result in permanent damage, the brain can and often does heal itself. However, patients must engage their brain's neuroplasticity to achieve the best recovery outcomes.

What should you avoid after brain injury? ›

Get plenty of sleep at night, and rest during the day. Avoid activities that are physically demanding (e.g., heavy houscleaning, weightlifting/working-out) or require a lot of concentration (e.g., balancing your checkbook). They can make your symptoms worse and slow your recovery.

Can you live a normal life after brain damage? ›

Unlike most other injuries, a brain injury doesn't simply heal in time and many people who sustain a moderate or severe brain injury will never fully recover to be the person they once were and live the life they once lived. But with the right help, at the right time, there can be life after brain injury.

How do doctors check for brain damage? ›

A CT (or “CAT”) scan takes X-rays from many angles to create a complete picture of the brain. It can quickly show whether the brain is bleeding or bruised or has other damage. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI uses magnets and radio waves to produce more detailed images than CT scans.

What are mild signs of brain damage? ›

  • Dizziness or balance problems. Physical. Dizziness or balance problems.
  • Feeling slowed down. Thinking and Remembering. Feeling slowed down.
  • Irritability or easily angered. Social or Emotional. Irritability or easily angered.
  • Sleeping more than usual. Sleep. Sleeping more than usual.

What happens if brain injury goes untreated? ›

Even if your injury does not seem severe, a lack of treatment could mean that future head injuries do more significant damage and take longer to heal. Even repeated mild brain injuries can lead to long-term challenges including memory and concentration issues, loss of balance, headaches and other symptoms.

What are the long term symptoms of traumatic brain injury? ›

Some of the most common long-term effects of mild traumatic brain injury include:
  • Persistent Headaches. Headaches are one of the most common long-term effects of a mild traumatic brain injury. ...
  • Light Sensitivity. ...
  • Dizziness. ...
  • Sleep Disorders or Fatigue. ...
  • Mood Swings. ...
  • Cognitive Impairments. ...
  • Depression & Anxiety.
Nov 12, 2022

Which medicine is best for head injury? ›

One of the most common types of medications administered after a traumatic brain injury is pain medication. Non-opioid analgesics such as acetaminophen, naproxen, and ibuprofen are generally safe for survivors to use.

What are the red flags of a concussion? ›

Slurred speech, weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination. Repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures (shaking or twitching). Unusual behavior, increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation. Loss of consciousness (passed out/knocked out).

What are five danger signs of a head injury? ›

  • Headache or “pressure” in head.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision.
  • Bothered by light or noise.
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy.
  • Confusion, or concentration or memory problems.
  • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down”.

How long after hitting head can brain bleed occur? ›

Delayed traumatic intracranial hemorrhage (DIH) can occur up to several weeks after trauma to the head [13] and was reported to occur more frequently in patients with ATT, ranging from 0.2% to 6% [14,15,16,17].

How can I tell if a head injury is mild or severe? ›

To tell the difference, look for other signs of a serious head injury, such as a severe headache; Clear or bloody fluid coming from your nose, ears, or mouth; Confusion, drowsiness, or a loss of consciousness; Changes in the way you hear, see, taste, or smell; memory loss; mood changes or strange behaviors; slurred ...

Is anxiety a brain damage? ›

Now, if you are suffering from anxiety disorders, then the enhanced cortisol levels can affect the brain and ultimately harm the brain cells. Apart from these, the high levels of cortisol can also cause insulin resistance.

What brain damage is caused by anxiety? ›

Chronic stress is a pathological state that is caused by prolonged activation of the normal acute physiological stress response, which can wreak havoc on immune, metabolic and cardiovascular systems, and lead to atrophy of the brain's hippocampus (crucial for long-term memory and spatial navigation).

Where is trauma stored in the brain? ›

When a person experiences a traumatic event, adrenaline rushes through the body and the memory is imprinted into the amygdala, which is part of the limbic system. The amygdala holds the emotional significance of the event, including the intensity and impulse of emotion.

Will you ever be the same after a brain injury? ›

Brain injury survivors often have new personality traits, challenges, fears, and limitations. Survivors are often surprised by how these changes also mean that they will feel and behave differently in their relationships.

What are the two most common brain injuries? ›

Depending on the cause, there are two types of brain injuries: Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Non-Traumatic Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI).

What is a minor brain injury called? ›

Most TBIs that occur each year are mild TBIs or concussions. 1. A mild TBI or concussion is caused by: A bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or. By a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.

What is the mildest form of brain injury? ›

Mild head injury/concussion is defined by:
  • Loss of consciousness of less than 30 minutes (or no loss of consciousness)
  • Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) of less than 24 hours after injury (this is a period where people are confused, act strangely and are unable to remember what has just happened)

What is the difference between a head injury and a brain injury? ›

A head injury is a broad term that describes a vast array of injuries that occur to the scalp, skull, brain, and underlying tissue and blood vessels in the head. Head injuries are also commonly referred to as brain injury, or traumatic brain injury (TBI), depending on the extent of the head trauma.

What are common treatments for brain injuries? ›

Your individual program may include any or all of these treatments:
  • Physical therapy.
  • Physical medicine.
  • Occupational therapy.
  • Psychiatric care.
  • Psychological care.
  • Speech and language therapy.
  • Social support.

What is the difference between a brain injury and a traumatic brain injury? ›

You may wonder what the difference between brain damage and traumatic brain injury is. Brain damage usually is non-traumatic, while traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the result of a blow to the head, often in an accident with negligence.

Does brain damage heal? ›

Can the brain heal after being injured? Most studies suggest that once brain cells are destroyed or damaged, for the most part, they do not regenerate. However, recovery after brain injury can take place, especially in younger people, as, in some cases, other areas of the brain make up for the injured tissue.

What are the signs of a bad head injury? ›

Symptoms of a head injury

You may be dizzy or disoriented right afterward. You also may have problems focusing or remembering. Other symptoms include ringing in your ears, neck pain, emotional or vision problems. These symptoms often go away in a few weeks but may last longer if the injury is severe.

What is a Grade 3 brain injury? ›

Grade 3: A severe diffuse axonal injury with finding as Grade 2 and additional focal lesions in the brainstem.

What are the facial changes after brain injury? ›

The symptoms will be as follows: Difficulty or inability to blink or close the affected eye. Difficulty or inability to carry out a range of facial movements and/or expressions, such as smiling, whistling and frowning. Difficulty chewing food, or losing food from the corner of the mouth.

What is Stage 3 brain injury? ›

Stage 3. Minimally Conscious State (Localized Response, Total Assistance) When in a minimally conscious state, survivors may drift in and out of consciousness. Unlike the vegetative state, individuals in this stage of recovery now have a limited awareness of their surroundings.


1. Signs To Look For After Head Trauma, According To A Doctor
2. Signs and Symptoms of Less-severe Traumatic Brain Injuries
(Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Attorneys, PC)
3. Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury
(Shepherd Center)
4. Recovery from Brain Injury Occurs for the Rest of a Person's Life
5. Introducing Amber: An Adult's and Child's Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor Perspective ...
(Detours: Understanding Acquired Brain Injury)
6. Causes of Brain Injury
(De Caro & Kaplen, LLP)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Twana Towne Ret

Last Updated: 10/11/2023

Views: 5513

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Twana Towne Ret

Birthday: 1994-03-19

Address: Apt. 990 97439 Corwin Motorway, Port Eliseoburgh, NM 99144-2618

Phone: +5958753152963

Job: National Specialist

Hobby: Kayaking, Photography, Skydiving, Embroidery, Leather crafting, Orienteering, Cooking

Introduction: My name is Twana Towne Ret, I am a famous, talented, joyous, perfect, powerful, inquisitive, lovely person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.