A brain injury can be classed in several ways, ranging from mild and temporary to catastrophic and permanent. However, no matter how a traumatic or acquired brain injury is categorised, it is always likely to cause some level of impairment to an individual.

Legal teams and case managers supporting clients with brain injury should be aware of the many ways the injury can adversely affect the quality of a person’s life.

Looking for information on hypoxic brain injury? Read our detailed guide.

Rapid access to a period of high-quality neurological rehabilitation is the best way to mitigate the impact. The causes of traumatic and acquired brain injury are vast and can include:

  • Trauma: from accidents, contact sports or violence
  • Following a traumatic birth, which can lead to cerebral palsy
  • Infections: such as meningitis and encephalitis, which reduce blood flow to the brain leading to hypoxia and anoxia.
  • Cardiac arrest, which can similarly contribute to a significant brain injury by decreasing blood supply to the brain.
  • Spontaneous subarachnoid haemorrhages and stroke are also all capable of damaging the brain to an extent of causing permanent disability and limitations
  • Poisons or toxins
  • Tumours

A brain injury can affect nearly every aspect of a person’s cognitive, perceptual, emotional, behavioural and physical function. It can alter the ability of the person to see, speak, taste, swallow, smell, move, touch, express ideas, plan and execute tasks.

Damage to specific parts of the brain can also lead to socially inappropriate behaviours and moods such as aggression, psychosis, impatience, irritability and anxiety.

Brain damage can also cause difficulty in making decisions, understanding others and processing information. Physical symptoms include headache, seizures, paralysis, disturbance in sleep patterns and loss of consciousness. Even people who have no physical impairment may be profoundly affected cognitively such as unable to live an independent life or maintain personal relationships.

Every brain injury is unique in the way it affects and presents in a person, so neurorehabilitation must be tailored to the individual in a way that their needs are fully met and is personal to their lifestyle and goals.

Neurorehabilitation following brain injury

Neurological rehabilitation is often a complex process which is aimed at relearning processes for efficient recovery and learning new ways of compensating for abilities that have changed permanently because of injury.

Neurorehabilitation may require the input of speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychiatry, neuropsychiatry, psychology, neuropsychology and nursing depending upon the symptoms that the patient presents with and the part of the brain that has been affected.

It will almost always require the input of specialist brain injury case manager to coordinate this complicated and intricate rehabilitation process. In many cases where there is a potential for a return to work, input from a vocational specialist will be required. All of these efforts collectively play vital roles in minimising the long-term impact of brain injury and increasing the quality and independence of a person’s life.

Instruct a medical expert specialising in brain injury

The brain injury specialists at NRC Medical Experts assess, evaluate and produce high-quality court reports and expert witness testimony to support legal teams to build the best case for your client. Through NRC Clinical Practice, our specialist rehabilitation consultants ensure individuals living with the impact of brain injury receive the neurorehabilitation they need to thrive.

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