According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, brain injuries can cause loss of consciousness, amnesia, loss of vision, muscle weakness, and many other ill effects. Injuries can also range in severity from moderate to severe.
Understanding the different types of brain effects that occur is crucial if you or a loved one receives an injury. Here are a few common injuries and their impact.
A cerebral contusion occurs when brain tissue becomes bruised. Blood may leak from tissues in the brain, such as the arteries and capillaries, which contributes to swelling. While contusion can affect many areas of the brain, they often occur in the front of the brain.
Hematomas are blood clots that form on the brain. They can form between the skull and the protective covering of the brain, or between the protective covering and the surface of the brain. Hematomas can also develop inside the brain.
An intracerebral hemorrhage occurs when tissues inside the brain bleed. A subarachnoid hemorrhage affects the tissues surrounding the brain, which can cause blood to spread out over the surface. The effects range from mild to severe depending on the nature of the injuries.
The skull can easily crack when subject to a great amount of force. As a result, fractures accompany many types of brain injuries and can contribute to bleeding and bruising.
Diffuse injuries are usually so small they do not appear on diagnostic images. They can also affect many areas of the brain, which can cause very serious effects depending on the injury. A diffuse axonal injury affects axons, which are lengthy nerve cells that spread out across the brain. Restricted blood flow to certain areas of the brain can also cause ischemia.
The success of brain injury recovery depends on the severity of the injuries, where they took place, and the type of medical treatment received. While some people achieve a full recovery, others require ongoing assistance and medical care.