Author Archives: Site Admin

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What Symptoms To Look For If Your Child Has a Head Injury

By Bernadette Coleman, Special Contributor

Children are going to fall, and when they do fall, there is potential for a head injury. As a parent, you can do things to reduce the risk of a head injury by making sure your children wear safety helmets during high risk activities such as biking, skating, or skiing. However, no matter what you do, you cannot completely remove the risk of your child receiving an injury to their head. Consequently, you should be familiar with the signs of a serious head injury so you are better equipped to make an informed decision as to whether you should take your child to see a doctor.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been an increase in the number of children brought to the emergency room with traumatic brain injuries. Part of this increase may be due to a higher awareness in parents that even light hits to a child’s head can result in a concussion or some other form of brain injury.

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to have their children seen by a doctor if they receive any hit to the head that is more than just a light bump. Although this may seem like overkill, it is not, because the signs of a brain injury are often subtle and difficult to detect. Additionally, the brain may continue to swell for several hours after a hit to the head, and the symptoms of a serious brain injury may not appear for up to 24 hours after the head injury. Some of the more subtle signs of a brain injury are:

1) Slurred speech or difficulty walking.
2) Dizziness or constant ringing in the ears.
3) Vomiting.
4) Blurred vision.
5) Unequal pupil size.

Other symptoms can include confusion, abnormal behavior, excessive sleepiness, neck pain, or even seizure. If your child has received anything more than a light blow to the head, or if your child displays any of the symptoms of a brain injury, you need to immediately take your child to a doctor.

Children are full of energy, and consequently they are going to occasionally get a bump to the head. For the safety of your child, and for your own piece of mind, you need to make sure you are familiar with the symptoms of a brain injury. Don’t be embarrassed to take your child to the emergency room when they receive a hit to the head, especially if they display any of the symptoms of a serious or traumatic brain injury. Your child’s future quality of life may depend on your quick response. For more information and resources go to TryMunity.com a social network for traumatic brain injury survivors.


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Healing through relationships

Category : brain-injury

by Codie Surratt

 

So today it’s easy for me to pick up my phone and instantly connect via text, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and maybe the occasional phone call (ugg) with pretty much anyone in my contacts list.  But when connection becomes completely wired, are we truly benefitting from social interaction? In recent studies conducted by Dr. Daniel Siegel, author of the book Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, interpersonal neurobiology which is the scientific moniker for true to life personal connection, has been shown to not only increase our levels of serotonin and oxytocin (our happy hormones) but it can actually help to fire neuronal connections. Neuroplasticity is the term used to describe this phenomenon and, my friends, it is amazing.  This to me is huge! We need more positive connection.  More social interaction with those who love us, who care for us and who make us happy.  We need to be challenged mentally and physically, and getting out in nature with a partner, having a lively discussion, playing a board game with friends or simply being around pets, can all help to fire up those neurons.  This is pertinent for anyone dealing with a brain injury, of any severity.  Having people around that can show love, kindness, respect and quite simply joy, can aid in the process of healing.

Dr. Siegel speaks extensively about neuroplasticity in relation to trauma, brain injuries and any physical or emotional scars that leave us feeling vulnerable.  There is still so much to learn about this process, but what the studies speak to is this: when we are in the presence of those that bring us joy we can truly make miracles happen.  This is what I believe to be true with my clients who I see in various stages of their healing process, and it is something I practice in my own life.  We need to put down the gadgets, unplug and actually plug into life, plug into friendship, to love, to happiness and to joy, no matter where we are on our path to healing and recovery.


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Understanding the Various Types of Brain Injury

Category : brain-injury

Brain Logotraumatic brain injuryaffects an estimated 1.7 million people each year. This statistic means that a brain injury occurs every 18 seconds in the United States. This staggering number offers an important conclusion: the need for brain injury research, prevention precautions, and support is imperative. The Texas Brain Injury Alliance, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is part of a network of Brain Injury Alliances across the nation working to network multiple entities and resources, promoting rehabilitation, prevention research, and advocacy of brain injury. In an effort to further educate in regard to brain injuries, the following snapshot of information will help one understand the various types of brain injuries.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
As stated above, traumatic brain injuries affect almost 2 million people each year. TBIs are brain injuries resulting from an external force causing an alteration in brain function or other evidence of a change in brain pathology.

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
Acquired brain injury is a more general term which includes external force as a cause, but also covers any injury occurring after birth that is not hereditary, congenital, or degenerative.

Brain Tumor
Brain tumors occur when a group, or mass, of abnormal cells begin to grow in the brain. These cells can cause serious damage to the area surrounding it by killing brain cells, causing inflammation, and increasing pressure. The cause of brain tumors is unknown.

Cerebral Aneurysm
Brain aneurysms can be congenital or can be developed later in life. There are many types of cerebral aneurysms which affect people very differently. However, all aneurysms are caused by weakened areas in the blood vessels around the brain, which causes the vessel to bulge.

Encephalitis
Encephalitis means “inflammation of the brain.” This type of brain injury is most often caused by an infection. It is considered a rare condition that usually occurs most frequently in the first year of life.

Epilepsy and Seizures
Epilepsy is a seizure disorder caused by permanently disturbed brain activity that causes the brain to send out abnormal signals. This seizure disorder can be caused by a stroke, an infection, or congenital brain injuries.

Stroke
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off. The brain needs blood in order to receive oxygen, so when the brain does not receive blood, it can be permanently damaged.

Brain injuries affect the whole person, not just the brain. They also affect not only the victim, but his or her friends, family members, and colleagues. The Texas Brain Injury Alliance is here to help connect Texas brain injury survivors, their families and their friends, and other professionals to each other. Our goal is to educate the public and help prevent future injuries.

For more information on brain injuries, or to speak with one of our team members about connecting to a support group, contact the Texas Brain Injury Alliance offices by calling 800-392-0040.