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How the brain recovers after a traumatic brain injury

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If you experience a traumatic brain injury, it can cause serious long-term damage to your brain. This is because, unlike most other cells in your body, brain cells cannot be repaired or regrown. However, the brain is capable of compensating for damaged cells to a certain extent, meaning that even in the most serious cases of brain injury, significant recovery is often possible.

Understanding neuroplasticity

Central to the recovery process after a traumatic brain injury is a function known as ‘neuroplasticity’. This is the brain’s ability to effectively ‘rewire’ itself, allowing it to bypass damaged cells.

Different cells in the brain carry out different functions, for example controlling speech or movement of specific parts of the body. This means that when a part of the brain is damaged, the function associated with that part of the brain will normally be affected.

Neuroplasticity allows different cells to take over the functions of the damaged cells, effectively forming new neural pathways through the brain. This can allow the brain to work around the damage and enable full or partial recovery of the affected function.

While neuroplasticity can be highly effective at allowing the brain to recover lost or compromised functions, the process often needs some encouragement to work to its fullest capability. This is why having the right recovery and rehabilitation care is usually essential to brain injury recovery.

How to encourage brain injury recovery

There are various types of rehabilitation care that will typically benefit someone recovering from a brain injury. This normally revolves around neuro-psychological therapy, which can include speech therapy, occupational therapy (working on being able to perform specific day-to-day tasks) and exercises for issues such as hand-eye coordination.

In general, anything that involves practising an impaired function can potentially help with neuroplasticity. This is because the act of attempting to carry out a task can help stimulate the brain to find new ways of processing the necessary signals, encouraging new neural pathways to form.

Therefore, the more you can engage with neuro-psychological therapy and other types of rehabilitation services, the faster and more effectively your brain is likely to be able to recover from the damage.

Supporting mental health recovery after a traumatic brain injury

Brain injury can lead to a number of mental health problems and can also potentially exacerbate pre-existing mental health conditions. Depression, anxiety and anger management issues are all common following brain injury, while other conditions such as schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can also occur or be worsened by a traumatic brain injury.

If you need support with a mental health condition after a brain injury, there are various types of treatments that may be beneficial. This can include medication to help manage any symptoms you are experiencing, as well as counselling and other types of psychotherapy to help you understand and manage the problematic thought processes and emotions you are dealing with.

Correctly treating the mental health impact of a brain injury is often essential to enable a meaningful recovery, as it can be very difficult to live a happy, productive life when dealing with an untreated mental health condition. Getting the right diagnosis and accessing the right treatment should therefore be a priority.

Getting the support you need for brain injury rehabilitation

IBB Claims solicitors specialise in brain injury compensation claims, helping our clients access the funds they need to ensure they get the right rehabilitation support and on going care for their recovery. This means that, no matter your financial situation, if you have suffered a brain injury that was not your fault, we can help to ensure you have the strongest chance of making the best recovery possible.

We can review your case with you and provide an honest assessment of whether you claim justifies further investigation, as well as a realistic estimate of the amount of compensation you may be eligible for. We can then provide empathetic, highly effective support during every step of the claims process, helping you to achieve a fair outcome.

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