Head injuries can have a devastating impact on our brain health both in the short-term and the long-term. Some of the symptoms caused by these injuries will reside over time while some may never leave. Recognizing the symptoms of a brain injury early can help you get the help that you need. In this article, we will discuss whether or not you can heal a damaged brain, what the long-term effects of an injury are, and some of the symptoms of a brain injury.
Can You Heal a Damaged Brain?
Unfortunately, unlike the skin or other parts of the body, the brain does not fully mend itself after suffering an injury. Recovery and function can depend on the cause of the injury and the person’s symptoms. It also depends on how quickly you seek help and the quality of the treatment received. This means it’s important to recognize brain damage symptoms before they become more serious. Here are some of the symptoms:
- Affected balance
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty speaking clearly
- Memory problems
If you or anyone you know is dealing with these symptoms, especially after suffering from a head injury, you should seek professional assistance as quickly as possible. If left unchecked, these symptoms can lead to further damage and in extreme cases - death.
What are the Long-Term Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
In some cases, a person may not experience traumatic brain injury effects until years after the injury. This happens when the neuronal connections in the brain are damaged. Inflammation and swelling in response to the injury can diminish the amount of blood traveling through the injured areas. When recovering from a brain injury, these connections will either return to normal or they will continue to malfunction. If they fail to revert to healthier signaling after the trauma of the acute injury subsides, the result is long-term dysfunction of neurovascular coupling and thus long-term symptoms of TBI. Here are some long-term traumatic brain injury symptoms:
- Headaches and migraines
- Sleep difficulties
- Depression and anxiety
- Aggression and other personality changes
- Deficits in attention and concentration
Long-term behavioral changes can be incredibly common in those who suffer brain injuries, especially traumatic brain injuries. Studies have also shown that up to 60% of those who have suffered from a brain injury will develop memory issues. However, researchers do believe that this can be reversed with proper treatment.
How Long Does it Take to Recover From a Brain Injury?
When it comes to determining how long it will take to recover from a brain injury, one must understand that there are many different factors at play. Obviously, the biggest factor being the severity of the injury. But other factors such as age, physical makeup, and overall health can play a key role.
One thing that must be understood when dealing with a brain injury is that it does have the chance of being a life-altering event. Some people may be able to recover from an injury soon after an accident while others will never completely recover. Broken bones and cuts can be serious but usually do heal in time. Unfortunately, brain cells do not replicate themselves the same way as these other types of injuries. It’s not uncommon for people to notice their loved one seems like a different person after sustaining a TBI. And, in many ways, they might be a different person with actual personality changes since the brain doesn’t function the same as it did before.
How Long After a Head Injury do Symptoms Occur?
As we mentioned earlier in the article, it’s important to recognize the signs of a brain injury early on so you can seek proper assistance. These signs and symptoms may appear all at once or they may appear within 24 hours, days after the incident, or even weeks after. Sometimes the symptoms are subtle and worsen as time goes on.
So it’s important to note that symptoms may not show up immediately. This doesn’t mean that no brain damage was suffered. On the flip side, signs not showing up immediately could also be a sign that there was no brain damage at all. Our skulls are incredibly strong and our brains are very resilient. It’s shocking how much damage it can sustain without suffering crippling damage. With that being said, sometimes even modestly bumping your head the wrong way can lead to damage. What’s important is that you stay vigilant for symptoms of brain damage after suffering from a head injury. Even
What is the Most Severe Brain Injury?
Doctors and researchers will typically divide brain damage caused by injury into two different categories: traumatic and nontraumatic. Traumatic brain injuries typically occur due to a blow, shaking, or strong rotational injury to the head that damages the brain. Here are some examples:
- Closed head injury - This injury is caused by an outside force, such as a blow to the head, that doesn’t penetrate the skull but causes injury and brain swelling
- Concussion - This causes impairment in brain function. It can be the result of closed or penetrating head injuries
- Contusion - This is a bruise or bleeding in the brain that’s due to a blow or jolt to the head
- Penetrating injury - This is a type of brain injury caused by a bullet, knife, or another sharp object. It’s also known as an open head injury
- Shaken baby syndrome - Also known as abusive head trauma, this occurs due to excessive shaking of a young child
Here are some examples of nontraumatic brain injuries - oftentimes referred to as an acquired brain injury:
- Anoxic/hypoxic - This injury is caused by a lack of oxygen
- Brain infections/inflammation - These injuries are caused by infections such as meningitis
- Stroke - This injury can be caused by a loss of blood flow to the brain due to a blood clot or brain bleed
- Tumor - This can include brain cancer and cancer-related illnesses
These are only a few examples of some of the most common types of brain injury.
Can a Brain Injury Cause Mental Illness?
Recent research has shown that there is a direct correlation between brain injury and mental illness. Studies have found that approximately 1 in 5 individuals may experience mental health symptoms up to six months after mild traumatic brain injury. This means follow-up care will be very important for these patients.
Researchers have also discovered that brain injuries can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder and/or major depressive disorders. Studies have shown that people who suffer from mild traumatic brain injury are more likely than regular orthopedic trauma patients to report symptoms of PTSD and depression. For example, three months after injury, 20 percent of mTBI patients reported mental health symptoms compared to 8.7 percent of orthopedic trauma patients. At six months after injury, mental health symptoms were reported by 21.2 percent of people who had experienced a head injury and 12.1 percent of orthopedic trauma patients.
Supplements Can Help
One supplement that can help encourage positive brain growth and prevent cognitive decline, as well as other aging side-effects, is spermidine. This is because spermidine helps induce something called autophagy. This is the body’s process of replacing old and potentially damaged cell parts with newer, healthier ones. Autophagy literally means ‘self-eat.’
This process helps keep you feeling and looking young while also dramatically lowering your chances of developing aging diseases such as Parkison’s and Alzheimer’s. While it is possible to get your recommended daily intake of spermidine through your diet, it’s recommended to take supplements so you ensure you get the right dose. Simply taking your supplements with your dinner is a great way to remember to take spermidine supplements every night.