Prognosis and Recovery for Traumatic Brain Injury

Because of the severe nature of Traumatic Brain Injuries, recovery and projecting the prognosis of patients varies on a case to case basis. Some people have seen recovery within a matter of month, some within years, and some are never able to recover. Unfortunately, the more devastating injuries are easier to ascertain a prognosis because of how small the chances of recovery.

Another issue for medical teams to deal with in establishing a prognosis is that there is not a set in stone way that doctors use to establish the severity of a traumatic brain injury. The reason for this is that every brain injury is entirely different. Fortunately, there are factors that all medical teams do take into consideration.

The following are the indicators a medical team uses for prognosis:
•    Duration of Coma: The shorter the coma, the better the prognosis.
•    Post-traumatic amnesia: The shorter the amnesia, the better the prognosis.
•    Age:  Patients over 60 or under age 2 have the worst prognosis, even if they suffer the same injury as someone not in those age groups.    

Once the prognosis has been established, recovery times can begin to be predicted. It is thought that recovery of brain function takes place by several mechanisms.

Here are some of the more commons theories:

•    Diaschisis: Depressed areas of the brain that are not injured but linked to injured areas begin functioning again.  Although full recovery does not take place, this minimizes the damage of brain function.
•    The function is taken over by a part of the brain that does not usually perform that task.
•    Redundancy in the function performed so another area of the brain takes over.
•    Behavioral substitution:  The individual learns new strategies to compensate for deficits.  

For more articles with helpful information on Traumatic Brain Injury please visit the Traumatic Brain Injury section in the firm library tab of
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