Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a serious condition that has caused death and disability in many countries for persons below the age of forty-five years. Scientists have advanced treatment for TBI over the last years, which has helped reduce mortality rates for TBI victims. However, patients who recuperate from TBI experience neurobehavioral sequelae (Cifu & Deborah, 2010). Neurobehavioral sequelae issues affect sensory organs, cognitive functions of the brain, and communication. These neurobehavioral issues are linked to the part of the brain that is damaged. People can reduce the risk of having TBI by applying safety measures such as wearing headgears when driving bikes, making use of seatbelts when driving vehicles, and keeping dangerous weapons such as guns away from the vicinity of people. This paper gives a detailed clinical description of traumatic brain injury and the organic basis of TBI.
Description of Traumatic Brain Injury and its organic basis
In the 19th century, people were not well informed concerning brain problems and they lacked the equipment to treat brain problems (Cifu & Deborah, 2010). Therefore, many severe brain traumas led to death for lack of treatment. Today, people are using advanced technology to do research and find better treatment methods for TBI patients.
Traumatic Brain Injury takes place when an abrupt trauma results in brain injuries. The injury can be focused in one area of the brain or it can spread in some parts of the brain TBI occurs in two forms (Eames, 1990). One form of TBI is a closed injury that results when the head hits an object. The other form is penetrating injury that results when an object cuts through the skull and into the brain.
Signs to indicate that a patient has TBI depend on the type of injury. Some signs show immediately while others take time to exhibit. If the injury is not severe, the patient may have a temporary loss of consciousness. In addition, the patient can experience mental numbness for a few days (Lawrence, 2013). Other signs include wooziness and vague sight. For a serious TBI, a patient may have intense headaches, recurrent emesis, distorted verbal communication, and convulsions.
A doctor should be in a position to identify these symptoms and develop a strategy that will facilitate the quick recovery of the patients. Symptoms of TBI are similar to other neurologic conditions (Mcallister, 2008). Therefore, the doctor should differentiate TBI symptoms from other conditions depending on their duration and distinct features.
Organic basis of Traumatic Brain Injury
Most brain traumas take place instantly or after a period. Particular parts of the brain are prone to damage and are responsible for the neurobehavioral sequelae associated with TBI (Riggio, 2011). Parts of the brain prone to damage include the frontal cortex and the hippocampi.
Research studies reveal that neurotransmitters modify during Traumatic Brain Injury. Neurotransmitters are responsible for controlling cognitive and behavioral functions in the human body (Cifu & Deborah, 2010). For example, the cholinergic tone, which has a cognitive function, may cause mood conditions such as depression.
Neurobehavioral sequelae comprise a variety of disorders, which are categorized as either somatic or neuropsychiatric (Eames, 1990). Cognitive complaints and behavioral manifestations are classified under neuropsychiatric.
Cognitive conditions caused by TBI include amnesia, lack of focus, and challenges in doing simple chores. These challenges may cause frustration, which may trigger a bad temper, nervousness, indifference, and despair. The doctor must evaluate the patient keenly to determine if the symptoms are caused by TBI or other underlying conditions (Riggio, 2011). The doctor should establish whether his inability to perform simple chores is related to memory or attention impairment.
Cognitive disorders will heal depending on the nature of brain injury. Research shows that cognitive conditions due to sports injuries heal within weeks. However, these studies do not apply to all TBI victims but those people who are goal-directed and have a passion (Eames, 1990).
Behavioral manifestations caused by TBI affect the personality of the victim. Behavioral changes may result from psychiatric conditions due to emotional strain caused by the injury. Depression is one example of a behavioral condition. Studies have shown that tiredness, distractibility, and rage are some of the signs of a depressed patient (Mcallister, 2008). Research has not shown the correlation between the rate of depression and the seriousness of the injury. Scientists have proven that most TBI victims have suicidal thoughts because of depression.
Anxiety is a behavioral condition, which affects persons with mild TBI. Thoughts that remind the patient about the hurtful incident cause anxiety (Riggio, 2011).
Aggression is a behavioral manifestation linked to severe brain traumas. TBI victims express aggressive behavior (Lawrence, 2013). Alcoholism and drug exploitation are factors that can accelerate aggression.
Somatic disorders include cephalalgia, vertigo, and tiredness. Cephalalgia occurs in the majority of TBI patients. Cephalalgia can be either acute or chronic depending on the recovery period. People with a record of headaches are more prone to its recurrence. Vertigo occurs to most people after a brain injury. Recovery of vertigo depends on the severity of head injury (Riggio, 2011). TBI victims experience tiredness, which is a somatic condition. The occurrence of fatigue relies on the social environment and lifestyle. Tiredness hinders the recovery process.
Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury
Before a doctor prescribes treatment for a TBI victim, the doctor should prepare a hypothesis for the condition they are treating. In treating a neuropsychiatric case, the doctor should first analyze the neuro medical disorders or elements in the surroundings that might trigger behavioral changes (Mcallister, 2008). The asymptomatic method would be the last aspect to evaluate in this case.
Situations occur where information is impossible to obtain because of the extreme behaviors expressed by the patients (Cifu & Deborah, 2010). In such a case, the clinician lacks the etiology of a given condition and therefore the required treatment. The solution would be to treat the group of behaviors as if they were a specific syndrome. For example, a patient who is suicidal and negative may be treated for depression. Persons with cognitive problems react not only to medicines but also to their immediate surroundings.
When administering treatment for TBI patients it is imperative for doctors to evaluate these factors (Lawrence, 2013). Ignorance of these factors will limit the effectiveness of treatment. However, observing all environmental measures without treatment, recovery of the patient will not be guaranteed.
Proper diagnosis and treatment of the neurobehavioral sequelae of TBI can hasten the recovery process. The clinician should be acquainted with the profile of the brain injury. In addition, the doctor should understand how the profile determines both the somatic and neuropsychiatric conditions of the patient (Eames, 1990). Careful evaluation entails a precise report of the patient’s neurobehavioral conditions before the trauma. Treatment of this condition should be time-bound and analyzed regularly to determine the healing process.
Cifu, D., & Deborah, C. (2010). Traumatic brain injury. USA: Demos Medical Publishing.
Eames, P. (1990). Organic bases of behavior disorders after traumatic brain injury. In R. L.I. Wood (Ed.), Neurobehavioral sequelae of traumatic brain injury. London: Taylor and Francis Ltd.
Lawrence, M. (2013). Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Executive Functions, and Post-concussive symptoms. USA: ProQuest.
Mcallister, T. (2008). Neurobehavioral Sequelae of traumatic brain injury: evaluation and management. World Psychiatry, 7 (1), 3-10.
Riggio, S. (2011). Traumatic Brain Injury and Its Neurobehavioral Sequelae. Neurologic Clinics, 29 (1), 35-37.