Brain Damage: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment (cont.)

What causes brain damage?

When the brain is starved of oxygen for a prolonged period of time, brain damage may occur. Brain damage can occur as a result of a wide range of injuries, illnesses, or conditions. Because of high-risk behaviors, males between the ages of 15 and 24 are most vulnerable. Young children and the elderly also have a higher risk.

Causes of traumatic brain injury include:

  • car accidents
  • blows to the head
  • sports injuries
  • falls or accidents
  • physical violence

Causes of acquired brain injury include:

  • poisoning or exposure to toxic substances
  • infection
  • strangulation, choking, or drowning
  • stroke
  • heart attacks
  • tumors
  • aneurysms
  • neurological illnesses
  • abuse of illegal drugs

What are the symptoms of brain damage?

There are numerous symptoms of brain damage, whether traumatic or acquired. They fall into four major categories:

  • cognitive
  • perceptual
  • physical
  • behavioral/emotional

Cognitive symptoms of brain damage include:

  • difficulty processing information
  • difficulty in expressing thoughts
  • difficulty understanding others
  • shortened attention span
  • inability to understand abstract concepts
  • impaired decision-making ability
  • memory loss

Perceptual symptoms of brain damage include:

  • change in vision, hearing, or sense of touch
  • spatial disorientation
  • inability to sense time
  • disorders of smell and taste
  • balance issues
  • heightened sensitivity to pain

Physical symptoms of brain damage include:

Behavioral/emotional symptoms of brain damage include:

  • irritability and impatience
  • reduced tolerance for stress
  • sluggishness
  • flattened or heightened emotions or reactions
  • denial of disability
  • increased aggressiveness

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