Medical Monday Traumatic Brain Injury Month

Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 7:04 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - March is Traumatic Brain injury Awareness Month. Brain injuries are quite common and can be caused by a number of different things. Many recover fully, but for some, it’s a long road.

Anthony Briscoe, a speech language pathologist at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, says; “My training tells me that everyone in their life has suffered a brain injury of some sort, be it from a fall or be it from a sports injury of some nature.”

Briscoe says you an divide brain injuries into two basic groups, open head injuries and closed head injures. And while many think of traumatic brain injuries as a hard blow to the head through a car accident or a bad fall, it can also be caused overtime, like when athletes receive several concussions over a few seasons or it could occur a day or two after the initial head injury.

“It also can be a bleed in the brain that happens again because of the sudden impact of the head striking the dashboard or a door.” according to Briscoe.

He says symptoms of a brain injury vary. “It could be anything from vision to memory to swallowing to speech, use of my hands, walking, just a gamete of different things.”

Briscoe adds depending on the severity of the injury, some recover quickly, while others have to relearn skills, like brushing their hair or feeding themselves. He adds, a team of professionals assist in that healing process, from physical and occupational therapists, to nutritionists to speech pathologists and even clergy, family and friends.

“The patient that’s motivated and sticks with it and endeavors to use some of the skills. We call it neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the idea that if I challenge the brain or even those residual skills in the brain, to focus and concentrate to do things, even things that I used to do, but do them repetitively. I can regain those skills, but I have to stay motivated and I have to stay at it.” according to Briscoe.

With a potential brain injury, Briscoe say it’s better to be safe than sorry. “If you have a headache that is prolonged and ongoing after you have struck your head, you need to go to walk in care, go to the emergency department, get yourself checked out. Small bleeds in the brain will wind up having issues days or weeks ahead as the pressure increases inside the brain.”

If you have any questions, or are concerned you may have suffered a brain injury, Briscoe encourages you to reach out to your primary care provider. And of course if you lose consciousness for any amount of time, it’s important to get to a health care provider and get checked out.

Copyright 2022 WAGM. All rights reserved.