Traumatic Brain Injury

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain Injury (TBI) is one of the two major categories of acquired brain injuries (ABI), meaning that the injury occurred after the birthing process. A TBI occurs when an external force causes a hit to the head or a rapid start and/or stop motion. Different types of TBI include, but are not limited to concussion, contusion (bruising), diffuse axonal injury (shearing or tearing of brain tissue), or a penetrating injury (like a knife wound or a shard of skull). In 2013, an estimated 2.8 million people were diagnosed with a TBI (1). Many injuries go unreported.

How is a TBI typically diagnosed and managed?

All suspected TBIs should begin with an immediate visit to the emergency department to determine how severe the case is with CT scan, MRI, or other imaging and inspection. Once released from the hospital, follow-up may include further imaging to assess physical damage, examination, or testing like EEG to check function of the outer layers.

Once released from the hospital, TBI survivors often have lingering symptoms, because the brain’s structure and function has been altered - often significantly.  Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychological/psychiatric therapy, and follow-ups with a neurologist may be applied to work on individual symptoms. These therapies can be effective, especially when an individual must be re-taught gross motor skills such as walking, feeding themselves, etc. Brain injury survivors may still experience symptom months to years later due to the extent of their injury.

Head injury and traumatic brain accident medical  and mental health care concept with a group of crumpled office paper shaped as a human mind with red highlighted area as a symbol of trauma problem.

A Fresh Perspective & Approach to Treating TBI

We specialize in helping individuals with life altering TBIs see improved function, years after their injury. Our clinic utilizes the latest in TBI research to bring cutting edge therapies for patients who feel they have plateaued. If you feel like you’ve stopped progressing, and you’re wanting to see what’s possible with clinical neuroscience, read about our innovative strategies for long-time brain injury survivors below.

A new type of diagnosis

Even years after your injury, our doctors provide a fresh perspective. Our specialists are known for their comprehensive and extraordinarily specific diagnosis process that gives answers to families searching to learn more. Brain imaging can provide insights about structural damage to your neurology, but there’s more to consider. We dive deep into your brain’s function, an aspect that’s missing from conventional imaging. Our doctors systematically assess your entire brain (cortex, brain stem, deep nuclei, and cerebellum), to find the areas unique to your injury that cause your symptoms. This whole brain assessment includes eye-movement testing, specific balance and posture measurements, and a neurological exam to test all senses and brain regions. Additionally, observation, a thorough history, and a review of medical records are performed.  We leave no stone unturned during our diagnostic process to be able to create custom-made therapies to address the root of your problem.

Trailored treatment for your brain injury

Although TBI survivors may share similar symptoms, each patient needs unique therapies specific to their brain. You may have contracted muscles after your injury, causing your arm to flex close to your body.  You’ve tried stretching these muscles to try and gain mobility. However, your injury was to the brain, not your arm. What exercises are you doing for your brain to gain control of your limbs? This is one of the areas we specialize in at Innova Brain.  One patient may need rehab for their right cerebellum, while another requires attention in their left, upper brainstem. Furthermore, one right cerebellum may respond best to rotation therapy, while another right cerebellum requires eye movement therapy. That's why all treatments are trialed and measured against diagnostic findings to ensure that your brain is getting the correct stimulation, at the right intensity. As your brain creates new pathways and connections, your therapies are continually adapted to fuel progress and make results lasting. With your new, improved connectivity, your brain can control your body, thoughts, and memories at a higher level, and symptoms associated with TBI are improved.

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Can you help a brain injury after 5 or 10 years?

Yes! Our rehabilitation strategies harness the concept of neuroplasticity - the brain’s ability to adapt and change. Even years after an injury, new connections can be made and functionality can be regained. We see some of our most exciting results with patients that are 5, 10+ years post TBI. stimulation. The program created for a child’s sensory deficits is often referred to as a “sensory diet”, because the brain is being fed “stimulation” with the hope that it will adapt and process better.

How do I know if I'm a good candidate for care?

We only accept motivated individuals who know there is more out there. We thoroughly vet all candidates for care at Innova Brain, starting with a consultation with one of our doctors. During this process we’ll find out how your condition occurred and is currently progressing, what therapies have and haven’t worked for you, and what your goals are.  We have a very good record of assisting patients that have acquired brain injury. It is our goal to help you resume as normal a lifestyle as possible, and we only accept those patients that we sincerely believe that we can help accomplish that goal.

References

  1. Taylor CA, Bell JM, Breiding MJ, Xu L. Traumatic Brain Injury–Related Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths — United States, 2007 and 2013. MMWR Surveill Summ 2017;66(No. SS-9):1–16. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.ss6609a1

Cutting edge TBI treatment

Gain a new understanding of your injury. Contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation.