Traumatic brain injury may have serious consequences on an individual if care is not taken to address it as soon as possible. Some of the neuropsychological symptoms of traumatic brain injury include loss of memory, inability to multitask, or slow rate of concentration. When such symptoms are detected, immediate medical attention may be necessary.
An injury in the brain may cause trauma that may affect an individual’s capacity to handle daily chores depending on the magnitude of the injury. Sometimes people tend to ignore the symptoms of brain injury, and this may have serious health consequences, especially when it is not addressed in time. Brain injury can have a life-transforming impact on an individual based on its nature and severity. In this essay, the researcher will discuss the neuropsychological manifestations of traumatic brain injury.
According to Ellison and Semrud (2009), any trauma in the brain may require an urgent diagnosis and appropriate medication before it causes advanced negative effects on an individual. Neurologists are always responsible for the medical examination of the brain to determine if there is physical damage that may require medical attention. However, sometimes an impact on the head may not leave physical damage on the brain. This does not necessarily mean that the affected person may not experience any damage to the brain. It is for this reason that neuropsychological assessment becomes very relevant. According to Carone and Bush (2013), sometimes an impact in the head may have an effect on the brain even in cases where the brain is not damaged physically. This makes it necessary for neuropsychologists to determine the neuropsychological manifestation of traumatic brain injury. This is a psychological process that involves investigating the capacity of the brain to do what it normally does before the brain was subjected to the impact. The following are some of the specific issues of interest when conducting neuropsychological manifestation of traumatic brain injury.
The attention of the patient may help in detecting a traumatic injury in a patient. According to Larrabee (2011), in order to detect if the patient was affected by the injury, the neuropsychologist will need a brief history of the patient in terms of attention capacity. A common test that a patient may be given is to multi-task. When a patient is not able to give adequate concentration on two simple tasks that should run simultaneously, then it may be an indication that he is suffering a traumatic brain injury. This is specifically so if it is confirmed that the person had the capacity to multitask before the injury in the brain (Sherer & Sander, 2014). To do this test, a neuropsychologist will need to work very closely with a member of the family or friend to help determine if there is a change in the levels of concentration.
Memory is one of the most common neuropsychological manifestations of traumatic brain injury. According to Carone and Bush (2013), when the brain is subjected to trauma, the data storage systems are sometimes affected. The nature and severity of the damage will always determine the level of memory loss. A neuropsychologist would always start by asking the patient simple questions such as their names. This may be after the patient has gained consciousness after a period of unconsciousness resulting from the injury. When the patient has the ability to remember his name, it is always a sign that the trauma was not very serious. The question can be the time of the day or place where the patient is at the moment. If the patient is able to respond positively to these questions, then chances may be high that there is no injury in the brain. However, the inability to answer these questions correctly should not be interpreted to mean there is an injury because the patient may have lost the sense of time during the period of unconsciousness. When it is established that the patient has very little memory of fundamental issues in his life such as the inability to remember his name or recognize the close family members, then it may mean that there is a traumatic brain injury that may need urgent medical attention.
Cognitive capabilities may also form part of the neuropsychological manifestation of traumatic brain injury. Sometimes it may be observed that a patient is experiencing problems with issues such as planning, setting priorities, and sequencing, among others. Such a patient may not determine the matters of importance that need to be done today, and what can be scheduled for another day. This is another indication of the trauma in the brain. Another manifestation of traumatic brain injury is information processing. According to Raskin and Mateer (2009), a person with traumatic brain injury may take longer than normal time to process and give a response to specific information.
These four neuropsychological manifestations of traumatic brain injury are common when dealing with patients who have had injuries in their heads but do not have signs of physical damage to the brain. They also help in the treatment of those who had physical damages in their heads after they had been given neurological treatments. The neuropsychological assessment and subsequent treatment help in eliminating psychological problems in a patient with traumatic brain injury.
Carone, D. & Bush, S. (2013). Mild traumatic brain injury: Symptom validity assessment and malingering. New York: Springer Pub. Co.
Ellison, A. T., & Semrud, M. (2009). Child neuropsychology: Assessment and interventions for neurodevelopmental disorders. New York: Springer.
Larrabee, G. J. (2011). Forensic neuropsychology: A scientific approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Raskin, S. A., & Mateer, C. A. (2009). Neuropsychological Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. New York: Oxford University Press.
Sherer, M., & Sander, A. M. (2014). Handbook on the Neuropsychology of Traumatic Brain Injury. New York: Cengage.