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Traumatic brain injuries are not always permanent

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a brain dysfunction that is caused by a violent blow or other outside force to the head (for example, a severe car accident). While it is indeed true that TBIs are serious, many people harbor the misconception that these injuries are irreversible. The truth is that TBIs can be partially or fully reversible.

Healing and the human brain

Recent studies have shown that our assumptions about the permanency of brain injuries are actually incorrect. Research has shown that an injured brain is capable of relearning, rewiring, and even regenerating itself. These recent studies have given hope to patients suffering from TBIs and their loved ones.

However, it is also important to keep in mind that most people downplay the severity of a mild TBI. For example, many people assume that concussions are only temporary. The truth is that the symptoms of these injuries can last for months and patients can suffer from irreversible and cumulative damage if they suffer multiple concussions.

On the other hand, a patient diagnosed with "permanent" brain damage from a severe TBI will not necessarily live their entire life dependent and disabled. Some therapies have shown great promise in terms of improving the quality of life and brain function of individuals with severe TBIs.

Can the brain regenerate?

In biology class, students are often taught that humans are born with all their brain cells and that it is impossible to regenerate more. This has led many to mistakenly believe that brain damage is always permanent. While it's true that new cells aren't regenerated in most parts of the brain after the age of two, some parts of the brain do continue to create new cells. These parts of the brain are associated with learning and memory.

Also, neurogenesis is a process in which damaged brain cells can be renewed. This process makes it possible for patients to reverse some types of brain damage, such as those resulting in physical impairments and cognitive problems.

The importance of proper treatment

After suffering from brain trauma, it is important that victims are properly assessed and treated. Receiving treatment and undergoing therapy properly can help prevent the permanency of brain damage. While victims can make great progress in terms of brain function after a TBI, this progress requires the hard work of the victim, brain surgeons, therapists, and neurologists.

As treatment for brain injuries is usually extensive and expensive, many victims of brain injuries wonder how they can afford treatment. Fortunately, if the injury was sustained as a result of someone else's negligence, compensation for present and future medical expenses may be sought in a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to by law.

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Orin J. Cohen Law
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