The brain is the most important organ of any creature’s body as it controls the entire body, its organs and every single function that they perform. Right from the simplest task such as breathing, eating, walking etc. to solving the most complex mathematical and philosophical questions, the brain is responsible for everything that a person does. Any injury to the brain can be severely debilitating as it can affect the function of vital organs and thus, cause certain systems, or even the entire body to shut down. Its treatment depends on the diagnosis and the condition.
How is a brain injury diagnosed?
The diagnosis of a brain injury can be done via several imaging tests or via pressure monitor, depending on the nature and condition of the injury.
- Computerized tomography scan: A computerized tomography or CT scan utilises a series of X rays which create an image of a detailed view of the brain. This test is used to quickly scan and visualize any fractures that might have happened or to uncover signs of hemorrhage or damage and bleeding in the brain, hematomas or blood clots, contusions or bruised brain tissue or any brain tissue swelling. It is usually the preliminary test performed in an emergency room when a patient is brought in with a suspected traumatic brain injury.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A magnetic resonance imaging or MRI makes use of powerful magnets and radio waves in order to view and create a detailed impression of the brain which detects even the smallest issues that might not have been detected otherwise. This test is not usually conducted in emergency cases but is done after the patient’s condition stabilizes. Often it is also done if the symptoms don’t improve after the preliminary treatments that have been administered.
Intracranial pressure monitor
This test makes use of a probe which is inserted through the skull to monitor the pressure inside the skull. Often due to a traumatic brain injury a patient experiences tissue swelling which increases the pressure inside the skull, thus causing damage to the brain.
How is it treated?
Treatment of a brain injury is critical. Deepening on the severity of the condition, several course of treatments might be administered. For the most severe cases surgery is the only way out while in some less dangerous cases medication will help in the process of recovery. Several degrees of rehabilitation might be necessary depending the severity of damage that the brain has incurred.
Depending on the necessity, surgeries are performed to repair any fractures, stop bleeding or remove clots. In certain cases, a window might be cut open to release the pressure on the skull in order to prevent damage.
Different kinds of medication are administered to help the patient recover from the trauma. Diuretics help reduce the pressure on the brain while anti-seizure drugs or coma inducing drugs are used as preventive measures to protect from further damage.
Patients who have undergone severe brain injury and damage require some rehabilitation to get back to normal life. Occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy etc. are used to help a patient learn to perform the most basic functions. Additional rehabilitation might require supplements like Cerebrolysin, psychiatric evaluation and counselling to gradually adapt to normal life.
- gov – Intracranial pressure monitoring
- lww.com – Safety and Feasibility of Craniectomy with Duraplasty as the Initial Surgical Intervention for Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
- com – Cerebrolysin®