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Regardless of whether the cause is a tumor, trauma, stroke or any other illness, any injury which inflicts damage on your brain cells is considered to be a brain damage.
There are two types of brain damage, both of which interfere with the standard functioning of the brain.
- Acquired brain injury (ABI): Either resulting from a tumor or a neurological illness, for instance a stroke, this type of brain injury originates from the cellular level and is commonly linked with brain pressure.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): It results from any damage imparted to the skull usually from an external and physical force like a blow to the head or a head accident, which in turn damages the brain.
How severe the brain damage is depends largely on the type of brain injury. Mild brain injuries are temporary, causing headaches, memory lapses, nausea and confusion. On the other hand, severe brain injuries cause cognitive, physical and behavioral impairments which are often life-changing and permanent.
Acquired brain injuries may be caused by:
- Being exposed to toxic substances
- Choking, strangulation or drowning
- Heart attacks
- Neurological illnesses
- Illegal drug abuse
Traumatic brain injuries are usually caused by:
- Car accidents
- Sports injuries
- Physical violence
- Head blows
- Falls and other mishaps
Whether acquired or traumatic, symptoms of brain damage can be classified under four major groups:
1. Cognitive symptoms generally include
- Having a hard time processing information or expressing thoughts
- Difficulty in understanding others or abstract concepts
- Memory loss
- Short attention spans
2. Physical symptoms generally include
- Excessive physical fatigue
- Extreme mental fatigue
- Persistent and frequent migraines or headaches
- Sleep disorders
- Light sensitivity
- Loss of consciousness
- Slurred speech
3. Perceptual symptoms generally include
- Spatial disorientation
- Smell and taste disorders
- Heightened pain sensitivity
- Changes in hearing, seeing, or touch sensations
- Unable to perceive time
- Balance problems
4. Emotional or behavioral symptoms generally include
- Decreased stress tolerance
- Heightened or flattened reactions or emotions
- Impatience and irritability
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a neurosurgeon.