prof. Dr. Engin Çakar answered your most frequently asked questions about brain damage and brain damage treatment. What are the symptoms of brain damage? How is brain damage treated? Why is physical therapy and rehabilitation important in the early period?

What is Brain Injury?

Brain damage is an important clinical picture that causes physical, cognitive and behavioral disorders. It is most common in young people, especially between the ages of 15-25 . brain damage; fall, work accident, assault, traffic accident and firearm injury .

Symptoms of Brain Injury

  • blurred consciousness,
  • numbness in arm or leg,
  • loss of power,
  • Vomiting,
  • Symptoms such as seizures are among the main symptoms of brain damage.

Conditions such as weakness that may occur in an arm or leg due to brain damage are symptoms that can be understood at first glance. But brain damage also causes mental, emotional, and behavioral symptoms that may be more difficult for the patient and those around them to understand.

Assessment in Brain Injury

The patient who has had a brain injury is evaluated by the specialist doctor in terms of both general health status and symptoms related to brain damage. After the evaluation, the multidisciplinary rehabilitation team takes part in the determination of the goals and the realization of the rehabilitation .

Rehabilitation goals are determined by considering the current skills and needs of the person. As a result of the weekly evaluations by the rehabilitation team, the course of treatment, the path covered, and the problems encountered are determined and the treatment is directed accordingly. The rehabilitation plan should be goal-oriented, and the patient and family should also take part in the goal setting process. The determined goals should be reviewed periodically by the rehabilitation team.

Brain injury treatment proceeds based on the cycle of assessment, goal setting, treatment, and reassessment.

Read More  Physical Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis

How Is Brain Injury Treated?

Brain injury has unique consequences for each patient, and there is no one-size-fits-all standard program for brain injury treatment. In the treatment of brain damage, it is aimed for the patient to regain his personal independence and return to social life .

The patient with brain injury should be treated in specialized rehabilitation services without delay. Rehabilitation practices begin as soon as the person’s medical condition is available. In order for the brain damaged patient to benefit from rehabilitation;

  • His medical condition must be stable (he must have survived life-threatening),
  • Learning capacity must be present,
  • Must be able to participate in rehabilitation practices,
  • It should be able to tolerate the treatment time adequately.

An intermittent rehabilitation program can be applied to patients with brain damage in whom the recovery process is delayed . In this program, the patient receives rehabilitation by hospitalization at regular intervals and can be discharged home at other times. The aim of this approach is to apply intensive rehabilitation during periods when the patient can achieve functional gain.

The rehabilitation environment needs to be arranged in a way that helps the patient recover. Room hygiene and privacy should be ensured. Whenever possible, the patient should stay in a single room. A quiet environment should be provided for the patient to rest outside of the treatment sessions.

You may be interested in: ” 7 Characteristics of a Good Physical Therapy Center “

Brain Injury Treatment and Multidisciplinary Team

  • Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Specialist Physician,
  • Physiotherapist,
  • Occupational Therapist (Occupational Therapist),
  • Physical Therapy Technician,
  • Rehabilitation Nurse,
  • Nutritionist,
  • Speech Therapist,
  • Health professionals such as Orthotics and Prosthesis Technicians form this multidisciplinary team. Depending on the patient’s condition, other specialties and health personnel may be included in the team.

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation specialist coordinates the rehabilitation team during the brain injury treatment process . He is the doctor who directly communicates with the brain damaged patient and his family about the rehabilitation process. Responsible for the planning and implementation of rehabilitation. Observes the needs of the patient and his family, establishes communication with different healthcare professionals and specialties. It ensures that the treatment service is provided in the most efficient way. Plans the patient’s discharge, transfer to home or outpatient centers, and subsequent follow-up.

Read More  Brain Damage and Autonomic Symptoms

Rehabilitation Applications in the Treatment of Brain Injury

  • Exercise Therapy: In addition to exercises that prevent loss of movement and increase muscle strength, exercises to improve sitting balance, standing balance and walking are applied.
  • Occupational Therapy: Specific exercises are done to accelerate the return to daily life activities.
  • Robotic Rehabilitation: Computer aided robotic physical therapy devices are used in exercises.
  • Physical Therapy: Electrical stimulation applications are applied to prevent muscle wasting.
  • Respiratory Therapy: In the presence of respiratory distress, exercises that improve lung capacity and strengthen respiratory muscles are applied.
  • Swallowing Rehabilitation: It is applied in the presence of swallowing disorder.
  • Speech Therapy: It is applied in the presence of speech disorder.
  • Use of Assistive Devices: Devices attached to the hand and foot (orthoses) can be used to prevent joint stiffness and facilitate walking.
  • Botox Injections: If exercise, medication and orthoses are not sufficient for muscle stiffness – spasticity , botox injections can be made.

In order to achieve the best results in the rehabilitation of the patient with brain damage , the development of cognitive skills such as problem solving, calculation, memory, reading and writing should not be skipped.

Problems That Can Accompany Brain Injury

Patients with brain damage may have many accompanying medical problems. Cognitive disorders, communication problems, swallowing and feeding problems, movement and sensory disorders, fatigue, sleep disturbance, pain, psychological problems and behavioral problems can be found. Especially behavioral problems sometimes worry the relatives of the patients. The rehabilitation team is trained in dealing with such disorders due to brain damage.

Brain-injured patients may have additional accompanying traumas such as arm or leg amputation, internal organ injuries, spinal cord injury . Rehabilitation of these patients in health institutions where it is easy to reach the relevant departments (consultation can be requested) is appropriate.

Read More  Vertigo – Dizziness Exercises

Other additional problems, called complications , may occur during the brain injury rehabilitation process . These include seizures (epilepsy), clot formation in the leg veins, endocrine disorders, urinary tract and lung infections, new bone formation in soft tissues (heterotopic ossification).

Discharge and Follow-up After Brain Injury Treatment

When the patient is admitted to the rehabilitation service, the treatment duration target is determined as early as possible, so that coordination between different members of the rehabilitation team is ensured, discharge is planned in a planned manner and integration into society is facilitated. The targeted length of stay is reviewed regularly. In this, the rate of reaching the goals and the process of achieving functional independence are taken into account. The social worker also contributes to the discharge process. Subjects such as the patient’s home and social status, and the need for care are taken into account.

When the patient’s condition allows, a gradual transition such as going home on weekends may be preferred. The rehabilitation process can continue at home when the necessary conditions are met. Brain injury patients should come to the physical therapy and rehabilitation outpatient clinics every 3-6 months after discharge.

Keep reading: “ What Should a Home Exercise Program Be Like for Stroke and Brain Injured Patients? “

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.