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What long-term impacts do traumatic brain injuries cause?

A traumatic brain injury dramatically impacts the victim's life. People tend to focus on the immediate effects, but many long-term things can occur. Some are present shortly after the accident, but others might come on as time progresses. This makes it challenging to plan for life after a TBI.

These can lead to challenges that can cause significant difficulties. Some people may not be able to work due to the ability changes they are facing. The financial impacts are considerable, but there are also emotional, physical and social effects.

Why do persistent effects occur?

A person who suffers a brain injury will go through an intensive healing period. The brain does this automatically to try to repair the tissues. Around one-third of people who have a TBI recover nicely within six months. At this point, they are at or near the optimal healing they will experience. Because some regions of the brain won't repair properly and can't handle the decline that occurs with these injuries, long-term impacts can occur.

What kinds of problems are common?

Individuals who have a TBI suffer from cognitive and emotional symptoms. These are common in the first few years, but they might persist for a decade or longer. Depression, anxiety, trouble concentrating, changes in sleep patterns and personality changes are common. Some victims might become aggressive and frustrated. Irritability can occur, but it usually comes on gradually within the first three years.

Some of the physical impacts include dizziness and headaches. Around 93% of people who have a previous TBI suffer from headaches at six months to a year and beyond, despite having an excellent recovery. Sensitivity to sound and light is another possibility, and around 40% of TBI victims will have seizures. Fatigue is another severe problem for some victims.

The loss of activities they once enjoyed is another problem for people who have this injury. About 40% of people with a TBI can enjoy the recreational activities they did before the accident. Social isolation is often the result.

Financial concerns after a traumatic brain injury are common. Victims injured in a negligence-related accident can opt to pursue compensation from the negligent party. This attempts to recover the financial damages they've had to deal with, and it can provide the monetary means to afford treatment necessary in the future.

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