Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury can affect any area and function of the brain. A failure in the work of the brain leads to excessive drowsiness, attention defecit, difficulty concentrating, memory disorder, depression, irritability, emotional outbursts, sleep disorders, a low libido, difficulties in switching between two tasks and slow thinking.

The degree and severity of neurological cognitive disorders can be determined by a neuropsychological examination. Using special methods, neuropsychologists determine the localization of dysfunction in certain areas of the brain. For example, frontal lobes are responsible for mood, personal qualities, thinking, interpersonal behavior, attention, foresight and control of inappropriate behavior. The "executive function” is known as the ability to plan and properly implement these plans. The injury of the frontal lobe is often associated with damage to the olfactory bulbs under the frontal lobes. Patients note either a decrease or loss of smell. One study showed that 92% of patients who have experienced brain trauma and suffered from loss of smell had problems with employment, although their neuropsychological testing did not show any deviations.

The symptoms of traumatic brain injury should subside with time, as the brain restores its functions. But sometimes the patient can develop complications due to their inability to adapt to the effects of the traumatic brain injury. For this reason, often psychological problems can appear.

List of symptoms

Traumatic brain injury results in a number of symptoms. The nature depends, to a greater extent on the exact location of the brain damage. Here is a list of possible physical and cognitive symptoms that can be caused by the damage to the specific areas of the brain.

Damage to the frontal lobe can result in:

  • Lack of motor activities in certain parts of the body (paralysis).
  • A person is unable to consistently perform a series of complex actions, for example, to make coffee.
  • Lack of quality, such as spontaneity, natural interaction with other people.
  • Inconsistent thinking.
  • Perseveration of speech. The person concentrates on one thought, subject.
  • Inability to concentrate on the task.
  • Mood swings.
  • Changes in social behavior.
  • Changes in personal qualities.
  • The person experiences difficulties in solving problems.
  • The person is unable to express their thoughts clearly (Broca's aphasia). Aphasia is a complete or partial loss of speech due to the local brain damage.

Damage to the parietal lobe can result in:

  • The person is unable to focus on several subjects, or tasks simultaneously.
  • Impaired ability to name objects while retaining the ability to characterize them and correctly evaluate them. (anomic aphasia)
  • The person is unable to express their thoughts in writing (agraphy).
  • Reading problems (dyslexia).
  • Difficulties in recognizing graphic objects.
  • It is difficult for the person to distinguish the right side from the left.
  • Difficulties in performing mathematical problems (dyscalculia).
  • Impaired orientation in space and non-perception of the surrounding space. This leads to difficulties in self-care.
  • Inability to focus visual attention.
  • Difficulties in coordinating eyes and hands.

Damage to the occipital lobe can result in:

  • Eye problems.
  • Difficulties in placing the object in the right place.
  • Difficulties in determining color (color agnosia).
  • Hallucinations.
  • Visual illusions (inaccurate vision of objects).
  • Inability to recognize words.
  • Difficulty in understanding painted objects.
  • Inability to recognize the actions of others.
  • Reading and writing problems.

Damage to the temporal lobes can result in:

  • Difficulties in recognizing people (prosopagnosia).
  • Difficulty in understanding speech (Wernicke’s aphasia).
  • Impaired understanding of what is happening around us.
  • Difficulties in identifying and verbalizing objects.
  • Short-term memory loss.
  • Mixing with long-term memory.
  • Increased or decreased interest in a partner in sexual relations.
  • Inability to classify objects.
  • Damage to the right lobe results in the person’s constant talking.
  • Aggressive behavior.

Damage to the brainstem can result in:

  • Limited breathing.
  • Problems with eating food and water (dysphagia).
  • Difficulty organization and perception of the environment.
  • Balance and movement problems.
  • Dizziness and nausea.
  • Sleep disorders (insomnia, sudden stop of breathing in sleep).

Damage to the cerebellum can result in:

  • Loss of coordination.
  • Loss of ability to walk.
  • Inability to reach and take an object.
  • Dizziness.
  • Slurred and incoherent speech.
  • The person is not able to perform fast movements.

Here you can also read other articles on this topic:

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