The term “acquired brain injury” is used to distinguish the brain injuries related to the prenatal etiology.
Brain damage is one of the most common medical conditions in the clinics of physiotherapy and rehabilitation. The physical traumas due to the falls, occupational accidents, gunshot injuries, pounding and road accidents may cause traumatic brain injuries.
The brain injuries are mainly divided into two groups as traumatic and non-traumatic injuries.
An external impact damages the brain tissue: Falls, violence, motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, violence against children (shaken baby syndrome), domestic violence, occupational accidents, and explosions. In patients with head trauma, the symptoms of brain injury should not be overlooked.
Stroke: Stroke is defined as sudden brain damage due to the vascular problems. It may emerge as a result of vascular obstruction or cerebral hemorrhage.
Cancer: The brain tumors may damage the surrounding brain tissue during the growth.
Infection: The inflammation of the brain layers (meningitis) or infection of the brain tissue (encephalitis).
Poisoning: Alcohol or drug abuse, lead intoxication.
Cerebral hypoxia: In certain events like drowning, heart attack or respiratory and circulatory arrest, the oxygen supply to the brain is declined and brain tissue is damaged (hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy).
Degenerative neurological disorders: This group of disorders is evaluated from the point of disorder itself instead of brain damage. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease are included in this group of disorders.
Patients with brain injury are scheduled for a comprehensive physiotherapy program immediately after the surgery and acute intensive care period. The early start of the physiotherapy and rehabilitation program is one of the most important factors for a successful outcome.
The highest rate of brain injury is among youngsters between 15-25 years of age. The main causes of brain injury are road accident in adulthood and fall and sports accident in childhood. In infants the most common cause is non-accidental trauma.
Traumatic brain injury causes an impairment in the physical functions in addition to the losses in the cognitive functions. The patients experience usually problems with speaking, perception, swallowing and thinking and paralysis in the hands and arms.
Brain injury may have a negative impact on the thinking and sensation capabilities and self-perception. Each brain injury may have a unique outcome. The factors like the localization of brain injury, size and the cause of the injury may influence the manifestations. Severe brain injury may cause coma, vegetative state and even death.