The long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can range from mild to like-changing, even life-threatening. Some complications develop immediately or soon after a TBI, while others can show up years later. California brain injury attorneys can advocate on your behalf and help you hold the negligent party accountable for your losses.
Degenerative Brain Diseases and Traumatic Brain Injury
Medical experts at the Mayo Clinic think there might be a link between traumatic brain injury and degenerative brain diseases, like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and a form of dementia associated with career fighters who take many punches to the head. The research indicates that traumatic brain injuries might increase a person’s risk for these devastating medical conditions. The number and severity of a person’s head injuries seem to be factors.
Changes in the State of Consciousness
A significant TBI can disrupt the brain’s ability to function to such an extent that the person experiences an altered state of consciousness permanently or for a prolonged period. Altered states of consciousness after a TBI can include:
- Vegetative state
- Minimally conscious state
- Brain death
An individual might transition from one state to another, but brain death is irreversible.
Long-Term Problems After a Traumatic Brain Injury
The brain is the command center for the body, so even a mild TBI can cause problems that can last for weeks or months. More severe brain injuries can cause long-term or permanent complications. Here are some of the physical problems a person can have after a mild, moderate, or severe head injury:
- Headaches. Post-head injury headaches can be so intense and frequent that they become debilitating.
- Seizures. Some people develop seizure disorders right after a head injury, while others find themselves having uncontrolled seizures years later.
- Cranial nerve damage, which can lead to facial paralysis, loss of vision, hearing, taste, or smell, and other issues.
- Vertigo or dizziness, with or without persistent ringing in the ears.
- Hydrocephalus, which is a build-up of fluid in the brain. This condition can cause swelling and increased pressure in the brain, which can be life-threatening.
- Damaged blood vessels in the brain. When blood vessels in the brain take damage from a TBI, the person faces a higher risk of a blood clot or stroke.
- Infections after a skull fracture or penetrating injury. Bacteria can enter the brain or the tissue that lines the brain (meninges) when a person has an open head wound. Meningitis can develop and quickly become lethal.
A traumatic brain injury can also cause a person to experience challenges with communication. After a head injury, it can be difficult to understand the words people say or that a person reads. An individual might not be able to think of or speak the words necessary to communicate or participate in conversation. He might lose the ability to interpret nonverbal communication or regulate the pitch, tone, or volume of his speech.
Behavioral issues are common after a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury. Families often report that the person they knew before the accident is gone and that their loved one is longer “himself.” Depression, anger, sleep disturbances, mood swings, and lack of self-control can happen as a result of a TBI.
Cognitive impairment can happen after a TBI. For example, the ability to think, reason, perform simple math, maintain attention, make decisions, learn new things, or solve problems could diminish because of a head injury.
These long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury could rob you of your quality of life or your life itself. California personal injury attorneys can help you go after the money damages you deserve. Contact us today.