Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury or TBI is a serious condition that could affect people of all ages from all walks of life. Trauma is attributed to a number of causes, but the most relevant aspect concerning this kind of health problem is its effects. A clear establishment of the effects of TBI is valuable to the administration of appropriate treatments. In particular, an extensive gathering and critical analysis of various literatures are essential factors in further understanding not only the nature of TBI but most importantly, in realizing that its effects are grave enough to catch a patient and the people around him or her off guard.

The said premises are the purpose and essence of this literature review, wherein the circumstances of TBI would be presented and its effects would be specifically explored by means of consulting previous materials or researches. By consulting earlier related studies or literatures and evaluating their respective findings and relevance to the subject matter, this paper aims to conceptualize that traumatic brain injury results into four categories, which are the mental, physical, emotional, and behavioral effects.

Analyzing further several related literatures would bring out the premise that the said classification of TBI effects may be mild or severe, and as a result, there are people who are able to overcome the implications while others are unable to do so. Based on previous literatures, this paper also hopes to find and confirm that the effects of TBI are most prominent and inevitable among people whose professions or quality of activities make their heads or brains susceptible to injuries such as military personnel and boxers.

Ultimately, this undertaking not only summarizes and considers the significance of related literatures, but most of all asserts that traumatic brain injury creates multi-dimensional effects, making it difficult for an individual to regain his old normal self Overview Traumatic brain injury or TBI is any injury, trauma, or health problem from which the brain suffers. The traumatic condition of one’s brain or memory is caused by several reasons, such as a violent penetration or shake of the brain tissue as well as a blow to the head.

Due to the different causes and circumstances of TBI, its effects also vary and range from the initial or just a simple headache to long-term comatose and eventual life-altering outcome like death (Your Legal Guide Network, 2009). The same source specifically defines TBI as an unexpected and uncommon brain injury that is caused by an external force and which temporarily or irreversibly interrupts the usual function of the brain. The damage to the brain affects several human aspects such as: the mental state, how one speaks or say words and acts, memory condition, mobility, and other personality-related features.

More than the said possible effects is the reality that due to TBI, the brain no longer has control over all bodily functions. Hence, regardless of its intensity, TBI definitely impairs the psychological and physical conducts of a person (Your Legal Guide, 2009). Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury In all angles, a traumatic brain injury is expected to create notable and alarming complications to the victims and the people around them. It is unfortunate to note, however, that the said effects are not immediately and correctly understood, which further exacerbates rather than contains whatever impact the brain injury has made.

The different manifestations of TBI implications also make it more difficult to determine the necessary treatments and ways of handling such neurological problem (Stoler ; Hill, 1998). Stoler and Hill (1998) specifically explained that “the profound changes that people experience following brain injury are often misinterpreted as signs of irresponsibility, a lack of motivation, neurotic behavior, or a litigation-prone personality” (p. xiii). The life-changing effects of traumatic brain injury cause alarm among the public, especially regarding the need to have an efficient management of such implications.

With such kind of literature provided by the said authors, it is now confirmed that brain injury alters one life in several ways. The findings of the work made Stoler and Hill further signified that the effects of TBI are mistaken as abnormalities since they change the ways people conduct. Relating such findings to this literature review therefore corrects the idea provided by Stoler and Hill. That is, the changes resulting from TBI impacts should not be misunderstood as irrational actions by people with TBI but rather as supporting facts to the idea that TBI patients act differently depending on the aspect of TBI effect they have.

Hence, there are indeed varying categories of TBI implications which, in turn, require for different management and treatment approaches (Stoler ; Hill, 1998). Effects to the body According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or ASHA (2009), the apparent effects to the body of traumatic brain injury are: (1) loss of hearing, (2) the buzzing or ringing in the ears called tinnitus, (3) dizziness, (4) vomiting, (5) seizures, (6) headaches, (7) nausea, (8) lessened taste or smell, and (9) blurred vision as well as (10) decreased coordination and strength in the legs, arms and body.

In their book, Stoler and Hill (1998) also stated that traumatic brain injury creates or affects several physical aspects of a patient. The two authors confirmed the list of physical effects provided by ASHA and reiterate the following as the effects of TBI to the body: fatigue, headaches, dizziness, sexuality, vision and hearing problems, sensory and metabolic disruptions, muscular and motor obstacles and the seizures. Most of all, the dangerous effects of TBI are evidenced by instances of being comatose, brain dead, and being in a lasting vegetative state (Stoler ; Hill, 1998).

Among the physical complications of TBI, medical practitioners are significantly concerned with seizures as well as bleeding and infection. The disruption of the normal activities of the brain, due to head injury, makes patients experience seizures and convulsions which, when not immediately and appropriately treated, result in further harm. This bodily effect is manifested during seizure attacks where it is possible for a person to violently hit his head and just aggravate the brain injury (Your Legal Guide, 2009).

During an open head injury, on the other hand, a patient endangers himself with too much bleeding and possible infection. Since there is a rupture in the skull and its membranes, the chance for the open wound to be infected is higher, considering the increased exposure of the brain tissue to the (polluted) surroundings. This is the case of meningitis wherein the brain membranes are infected which makes the situation fatal (Your Legal Guide, 2009). Psychological implications Thomas (2002) explained that the physical manifestations of traumatic brain injury are usually attached to some psychological or cognitive impacts.

This condition was supported by Mayou and Radanov (1996) who learned there are some mental complications that accompany the physical effects of brain injury. These are outright shock or the shocking feeling, anxiety, irritability, sadness, focus-related difficulty, insomnia, sluggishness, lessened or loss of sex drive, change in weight and appetite, as well as increased idea of helplessness, fear, desperation and re-experiencing the traumatic incident (Mayou ; Radanov, 1996).

Mental-related problems are expected to occur after a traumatic brain injury. When the cognition is affected, the thinking abilities of a person are supposed to change. The effects of TBI are evident in the patient’s altered consciousness of the environment, attention to responsibilities, memory, problem-solving, reasoning and executive or managerial functioning like the conducts of analysis, planning and goal-setting (ASHA, 2009). Specifically, a person’s concentration is easily affected when there are external distractions or outside factors.

Damage to brain results in slower recognition and processing of new piece of information. Recent memory is also affected, making it difficult to acquire and retain new information. Lastly, TBI creates problems in the need to begin a new task, in setting a goal, as well as in efficient planning or organizing (ASHA, 2009). Emotional impacts The emotional components affected by an injury or damage to the brain consist of post-injury reactions, behavior and moods, psychiatric disorders, and grief.

It was explained that aside from post-injury pains, the emotional reactions of a patient after a traumatic injury also require effective ways of treatment. Relatively, it is the post-injury responses which make the behavior and moods of a person who suffer from TBI to react sensitively and immediately to outside or external influencing factors (Stoler ; Hill, 1998, p. 206). The most prevailing emotional-related effect of TBI is a psychiatric disorder like depression.

This is the feeling of sadness or lowlessness that frequently happens during the depressive moments of brain injury patients. Similar to a number of psychiatric illnesses, depression is actually not a direct effect of damage to the brain, but the depressing sentiment is aggravated by the eventuality of traumatic brain injury (Stoler ; Hill, 1998). Lastly, Stoler and Hill (1998) explained that grief is a significant emotional reaction to a brain injury. This is because a reality is presented to a patient.

That is, the damage to the brain diminishes one’s skills and other capabilities. Grief creates a condition that damages the components of the brain and most alarmingly, becomes the source of sorrow or the feeling of being broken-hearted among TBI patients (Stoler & Hill, 1998). Complications to behavior Post-concussion syndrome is the most common effect of TBI to the behavior of patients (Narayan, 2007). The behavior-related condition is one of the several lasting symptoms which happen to people after having a brain injury.

Such symptom poses the risk of a developed and fatal situation known as second-impact syndrome where there is swelling of the brain resulting from even a mild hit on the head but which may have a deadly effect. Such is the case experienced by boxers who eventually manifest chronic traumatic brain injury (CTBI), a condition in which the behavioral aspects are impaired. At a later period, a severe type of CTBI called dementia pugilistica is behaviorally manifested by boxers and other people whose heads are always at risk of being injured.

In a more understandable level, the behavioral impact of traumatic brain injury is shown when one suffers from dementia and Parkinson’s disease where the patients show tremors and lack of coordination as regards their behavioral attributes or conducts (Narayan, 2007). Lastly, TBI results in behavioral concerns as the condition creates modifications in one’s personality. The behavioral effects of TBI include having unstable emotions where depression is manifested as well as psychiatric disorders like obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and substance or alcohol abuse.

The varying behavior related concerns are attributed to the damage of the frontal lobe hence creates inappropriate behaviors (Zink, 2001). Analysis of the Effects The cited literatures prove the damaging implications of traumatic brain injury to people. Despite minimal challenges, majority of the various materials confirm the concept that the effects are classified into several aspects. This makes the cited sources relevantly connected to the objective and value of this paper–which is the four-category effects of TBI.

A further analysis of the cited materials however reveals that beyond the presented cognitive, physical, emotional and behavioral effects of TBI, the significance of the issue boils down to an argument or controversy that it is the valuable members of the society who are more at risk to be subjected to brain injury and suffer its implications. This means that the effects of traumatic brain injury are sources of controversial concerns especially in situations involving military personnel and athletes like boxers. The issue creates an argument concerning the brain-related dangers that soldiers suffer during combat operations.

Specific literatures discuss the risk as well as the need to address and focus on the brain-injuries that soldiers experience every time they fight for the country. Several officials continuously argue and over-emphasize that the traumatic brain injuries that soldiers get after a battle remain to be untreated concerns of the government (Zoroya, 2009). Zoroya (2009) reported that Pentagon and Veterans Affairs officials dispute the still untreated effects brought about by soldiers’ battles, and most alarming is the fact that the brain injuries of the soldiers are only one of the untreated medical problems in the country.

Additionally, the current screening done to soldiers returning from combat is argued not to be helping in the situation of making the soldiers overcome whatever traumatic brain injuries they received from combat (Zoroya, 2009). The controversy is extended to the field of boxing considering the head blows that boxers get whenever they fight. In his work, Jordan (2000) found that around one in five boxers is inflicted with the chronic version of TBI. Thus, the impact of their profession to the conditions of their brains only manifests years after they stopped fighting.

The case of the famous boxer Mohammad Ali who now suffers from Parkinson’s disorder, a brain injury he got from years of being into boxing, exemplifies the risks of being in this profession. Conclusion The presented literatures confirm this paper’s premise that the effects of traumatic brain injury are significantly extensive. The said condition affects a patient in several aspects and ways. This situation now leads to the necessity to address and effectively manage cases of TBI for the people behind the fields of military and boxing to have lessened susceptibility to TBI.

The condition itself is undeniably disturbing thus further study is necessary in determining the ways how the impacts could be lessened. Due to the inconsistencies in the results of previous studies and the fact that only few studies focus on the four-dimensional effects of TBI, future research will be valuable in order to successfully treat and handle the effects of TBI on the mental, physical, emotional, and behavioral aspects of a person. References American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2009). Traumatic brain injury (TBI). Retrieved December 13, 2009, from http://www. asha. org/public/speech/disorders/TBI.

htm Jordan, B. (2000). Chronic traumatic brain injury associated with boxing. Seminars in Neurology, 20(2), 179–185. Mayou, R. , & Radanov, B. P. (1996). Whiplash neck injury. Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, 40, 46 –474. Narayan, P. (2007). Traumatic brain injury. International Anaesthesiology Clinics, 45(3), 119–135. Stoler, D. R. , & Hill, B. A. (1998). Coping with mild traumatic brain injury: A guide to living with the challenges associated with concussion/brain injury. New York: Penguin. Thomas, C. (2002). Psychological consequences of traumatic injury. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 180, 392-393.

Your Legal Guide. (2009a). All about traumatic brain injury. Retrieved December 13, 2009, from http://www. allabouttbi. com/ Your Legal Guide. (2009b). Traumatic brain injury complications. Retrieved December 13, 2009, from http://www. allabouttbi. com/treatment/complications. htm Zink, B. (2001). Traumatic brain injury outcome: Concepts for emergency care. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 37(3), 318-332. Zoroya, G. (2009, April 17). Officials: Troops hurt by brain-injury focus. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www. usatoday. com/news/washington/2009-04-15-researchers- brain-injury_N. htm.

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