Home Care After A Head Injury
The extent to which a person with a head injury can care for themselves at home depends on their disabilities. If self-care is possible, a plan should be developed with input from the professional care team and family members. The team should assess the personâs ability to function on their own and comply with medical treatment. In many cases, the person must be supervised by a caregiver to ensure compliance and safety.
The injured person’s surroundings must be neither too calm nor too hectic. They should have regular routines of light and dark, eating, sleeping, relaxing, using the bathroom, and taking part in rehabilitation and leisure activities. This helps the injured person remain emotionally balanced and minimizes the caregiverâs burden.
- The environment should be made safe by taking away area rugs to reduce falls, removing hazards, providing grab bars in bathtubs and showers and around toilets, and putting child locks on cabinets or stove knobs if necessary.
- If the patient is capable of going out alone, they should know the route well, carry identification, wear a medic alert bracelet, and be able to use phones and public transportation.
Traumatic Brain Injury And The Risk Of Dementia Diagnosis: A Nationwide Cohort Study
- Anna Nordström,
Roles Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, Writing original draft, Writing review & editing
Affiliations Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Environmental Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden, School of Sports Science, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
Diagnosing Dementia After Tbi
Many of the symptoms of dementia, such as memory and concentration problems, are also common traumatic brain injury symptoms.
Therefore, even if you display some dementia signs, that doesnt mean you have the disease. If you are concerned, talk to your doctor, who can refer you to a specialist. A specialist can perform a variety of tests to determine whether you have dementia, such as:
- Cognitive and neuropsychological tests. These tests measure your memory, problem-solving, language skills, and other abilities related to cognitive functioning.
- Lab tests. Doctors might also check the levels of hormones, chemicals, and vitamins in your blood to rule out any other causes of your symptoms.
- Psychiatric evaluations. This test will help doctors determine whether depression or other psychiatric problems may be contributing to your symptoms.
These tests can enable doctors to identify dementia after brain injury and find effective treatments.
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What Kind Of Treatment Is Available
Most traumatic brain injuries are mild and can be managed with a short hospital stay for observation or at-home monitoring followed by outpatient rehabilitation .;However, the most serious brain injuries require specialized hospital care and months of inpatient rehabilitation.
Treatment of dementia in a person with a history of traumatic brain injuries depends on the type of dementia diagnosed.
The strategies for treating Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia remain the same, regardless of the presence or absence of a history of brain injury.
The person who has developed dementia will benefit from any of the following:
- Behaviour modification
Support Groups And Counseling For Head Injury
If you are a caregiver, you know that caring for a head-injured person with dementia can be very difficult. It affects every aspect of your life, including family relationships, work, financial situation, social life, and physical and mental health. You may feel unable to cope with the demands of caring for a dependent, difficult relative. Besides the sadness of seeing your loved ones condition, you may feel frustrated, overwhelmed, resentful, and angry. These feelings may in turn leave you feeling guilty, ashamed, and anxious. Depression is not uncommon.
Different caregivers have different thresholds for tolerating these challenges. For many caregivers, just venting or talking about the frustrations of caregiving can be enormously helpful. Others need more help, but may feel uneasy about asking for it. One thing is certain, though: if the caregiver is given no relief, he or she can burn out, develop his or her own mental and physical problems, and become unable to care for the person with dementia.
This is why support groups were invented. Support groups are groups of people who have lived through the same difficult experiences and want to help themselves and others by sharing coping strategies. Mental health professionals strongly recommend that family caregivers take part in support groups. Support groups serve a number of different purposes for a person living with the extreme stress of being a caregiver for a head-injured person with dementia:
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How Can Contact Sports Be Made Safer
Whilst researchers work to understand this important issue, contact sports must be played as safely as possible.
Keeping physically active is a key way to reduce our risk of dementia. Sports like football and rugby;are loved by millions across the UK and enable people to keep active.;We would not discourage anyone from playing football or rugby.
We must strike a balance between ensuring people play the sports they love to keep fit and active with many health benefits and doing so in a safe way.
Sports governing bodies are encouraged to make every effort to reduce head injury risk and, where these might occur, make sure they are managed appropriately.
The general advice in concussion management across sports and activities is if in doubt, sit them out’.
What Are The Causes
- The most common cause of traumatic brain injury in older adults. Direct effects of the injury for senior citizens may result in long-term cognitive changes, reduced ability to function and changes in emotional health.;
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Dementia
Because dementia is a general term, its symptoms can vary widely from person to person. People with dementia have problems with:
- Reasoning, judgment, and problem solving
- Visual perception beyond typical age-related changes in vision
Signs that may point to dementia include:
- Getting lost in a familiar neighborhood
- Using unusual words to refer to familiar objects
- Forgetting the name of a close family member or friend
- Forgetting old memories
- Not being able to complete tasks independently
Keep A Healthy Brain Diet
Foods that promote brain function can also reduce your risk of dementia, according to several studies. The foods that make a good brain injury diet are rich in omega-3 and antioxidants. In particular, scientists recommend following the popular MIND diet, which includes foods such as:
- Dark, leafy greens such as kale and spinach at least 6 servings per week
- Fatty fish like salmon and trout one meal per week
- Unsalted nuts at least 5 servings per week
- Berries, especially blueberries, twice per week
- Whole grains 3 times per week
- Beans 3 times per week
- Olive oil
In addition, its important to avoid or at least limit red meat, dairy, sweets, and fried foods, as these can increase inflammation in the brain.
The MIND diet supports healthy cognitive function and allows the brain to heal faster from its injuries. Therefore, to reduce your risk of dementia after brain injury, try to follow it as closely as you can.
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Biomarkers Of Neuronal Injury
Neuron-specific enolase has been shown be elevated after cell injury. In the setting of DAI in severe TBI, levels of NSE at 72 hours after injury have shown an association with unfavorable outcomes.114114. Chabok SY, Moghadam AD, Saneei Z, Amlashi FG, Leili EK, Amiri ZM. Neuron-specific enolase and S100BB as outcome predictors in severe diffuse axonal injury. J Trauma Acute Care Surg 2012;72:1654-1657.One of the limitations of NSE is the occurrence of false-positive results in the setting of hemolysis.1616. Papa L, Edwards D, Ramia M. Exploring Serum Biomarkers for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. In: Kobeissy FH, editor. Brain Neurotrauma: Molecular, Neuropsychological, and Rehabilitation Aspects. Boca Raton : CRC Press; 2015. Chapter 22.
Development Of Dementia Following A Head Injury
The brain is in control of an individuals consciousness, their personality, judgment, motor, and sensory functions. Because of this, a severe head injury could impact one or more of these faculties. Depending on the location of the brain, an individual could suffer severe personality changes that could lead to dementia. Specifically, the frontal cortex of the brain is in charge of executive functioning. This includes abilities such as:
- Following multi-step commands
- Production and interpretation of language
All of these play an important role in someones personality. Therefore, if the frontal cortex is damaged, all of these characteristics can become impaired. This can lead to the development of dementia. What are some of the signs and symptoms of dementia?
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Brain Injury And Dementia: Is There A Connection
1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia
- Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, 980 West 28th Avenue Vancouver BC V5S 4H4
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Symptoms Of Dementia In Head Injury
Dementia-related symptoms in head injury include those that affect thinking and concentration, memory, communication, personality, interactions with others, mood, and behavior.Individuals experience different combinations of these symptoms depending on the part of the head injured, the force of the blow, the damage caused, and the personâs personality before the injury. Some symptoms appear rapidly, while others develop more slowly. In most cases, symptoms have at least started to appear in the first month after the injury.
Symptoms of dementia in people with head injuries include:
- Vague, nonspecific physical symptoms
Some people develop seizures after a head injury. These are not part of the dementia, but they can complicate the diagnosis and treatment of dementia.
Major mental disorders may develop after head injury. Two or more of these may appear together in the same person:
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Why Was This Study Done
- Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide, especially in younger individuals. TBI has also been associated with the risk of dementia in older age.
- However, the results from previous studies are not conclusive, there is lack of studies with long follow-up, and no study has evaluated whether familial factors may influence the association.
What Increases The Risk For Dementia
- AgeThe strongest known risk factor for dementia is increasing age, with most cases affecting those of 65 years and older
- Family historyThose who have parents or siblings with dementia are more likely to develop dementia themselves.
- Race/ethnicityOlder African Americans are twice more likely to have dementia than whites. Hispanics 1.5 times more likely to have dementia than whites.
- Poor heart healthHigh blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking increase the risk of dementia if not treated properly.
- Traumatic brain injuryHead injuries can increase the risk of dementia, especially if they are severe or occur repeatedly.
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What Is The Medical Treatment For Dementia In Head Injury Cases
The head-injured person who has become demented benefits from emotional support and education. This may include any of the following:
- Behavior modification
- Family or network intervention
- Social services
One goal of these interventions is to help the head-injured person adapt to his or her injury mentally and emotionally. Another is to help the person master skills and behaviors that will help him or her reach personal goals.
- These interventions also help family members learn ways that they can help the head-injured person and themselves cope with the challenges a head injury poses.
- These interventions can be especially important in establishing realistic expectations for outcome and pace of improvement.
Behavior modification has been shown to be very helpful in rehabilitation of brain-injured persons. These techniques may be used to discourage impulsive, aggressive, or socially inappropriate behavior. They also help counteract the apathy and withdrawal common in head-injured persons.
In general, cognitive rehabilitation is based on the results of neuropsychological testing. This testing clarifies problems and strengths in persons with dementia. The goals of cognitive rehabilitation are as follows:
- Encouraging recovery in functions that can be improved
- Compensating for areas of permanent disability
- Teaching alternative means of achieving goals
Family or network intervention
What Is A Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury is defined by experts as an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force.
Clinically, traumatic;brain injuries are categorised as either;mild, moderate, or severe.
Traumatic brain injuries are common and can happen for a variety of reasons, including traffic accidents, assaults, falls, contact sports, and many others. Most are mild and dont require hospital admission.
In the context of brain injuries in sports, the term ‘concussion’ is often used interchangeably with mild traumatic brain injury.
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Treatment For Dementia In Head Injury
Head injuries often bring an abrupt “coping crisis.” The sudden adverse changes that go with a head injury inevitability cause many emotions. Anxiety is a common response, and the person may become demoralized or depressed. Damage to the brain may impair the personâs ability to cope at a time when the need to adapt is greatest. Persons with head injury typically are more distressed and have more difficulty coping with their injury than persons who have other types of injuries.
Usually, a particular family member assumes most of the responsibility for the injured personâs care. Ideally, more than one family member should be closely involved in caregiving. This helps family members share the burdens of providing care and helps the primary caregiver keep from becoming isolated or overwhelmed. Caregivers should be included in all significant interactions with health care professionals.
Caregivers must encourage and expect the injured person to be as independent and productive as possible. At the same time, caregivers need to be patient and tolerant. They should accept that the person may have real limitations and that these will likely worsen if the person is tired, ill, or stressed. Emphasizing what the person can still do, rather than what seems to be lost, is helpful.
With head injuries, the greatest improvement is expected in the first six months, but delayed improvement is possible as long as five years after the injury.
What Exams And Tests Diagnose Dementia In Head Injury Cases
In most cases, the appearance of dementia symptoms is clearly linked to a known head injury. The health care provider will ask for a detailed account of the onset of symptoms. This account should include the following:
- The exact nature of any injury and how it happened, if known
- Medical attention received in the period immediately after the injury: Hospital emergency room or other medical records should be available.
- The persons state since the injury
- A description of all symptoms and their timing and severity
- An account of all treatment undergone since the injury
- Whether any legal action is pending or under consideration
The medical interview will ask for details of all medical problems now and in the past, all medications and other therapies, family medical history, work history, and habits and lifestyle.
- In most cases, a parent, spouse, adult child, or other close relative or friend should be available to provide information that the head-injured person cannot provide.
- At any time in this evaluation process, the primary health care provider may refer the head-injured person to a neurologist .
A thorough physical examination will be done to identify neurological and cognitive problems, problems in mental or social function, and unusual appearance, behavior, or mood.
Head injury warrants a brain scan to detect which parts of the brain are injured.
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When To Seek Medical Care For Head Injury
Any of the symptoms and signs described in the Symptoms section warrants a visit to the persons health care provider. This is true regardless of whether the person has a known head injury. Be sure the health care provider knows about any falls or accidents that could have involved even a mild head injury.
Brain Injury And Dementia In Pakistan: Current Perspectives
- 1Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA, United States
- 2Department of Rehabilitation, VA Palo Alto, Palo Alto, CA, United States
- 3Department of Electrical Engineering, Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan
- 4Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, and Monash Biomedical Imaging, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia
- 5Department of Biomedical Engineering, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan
- 6Neurocomputation Laboratory, National Centre for Artificial Intelligence, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan
- 7Department of Computer and Information Systems Engineering, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan
- 8Department of Radiology, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
- 9Department of Surgery, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
- 10Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, United States
- 11Department of Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, United States
- 12The Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, United Kingdom
- 13Department of Electronic Engineering, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan
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Can Head Injuries Increase The Risk Of Dementia
Although there does appear to be an association between traumatic brain injuries and increased dementia risk, its also clear that not everyone who has experienced a head injury or repeated head injuries will go on to develop dementia.
Traumatic brain injury is just one factor;believed to play a potential role in increasing the risk of dementia. There are factors we can’t change,;such as our age and;genetics. There are also lifestyle factors that can be addressed such as smoking, high blood pressure, excessive alcohol consumption and obesity to reduce the risk of dementia.
We need more research to understand how the type of injury, frequency, and the age at which head injuries happen may influence our risk of dementia.
Unfortunately, there is no accurate way to know whether someone may go on to develop dementia if they have sustained a head injury.