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The authors set out to determine whether aggressive treatment of severe traumatic brain injury is cost-effective compared to less aggressive therapeutic approaches. In every age group aggressive care resulted in better outcomes (more quality-adjusted years) than routine care, and routine care resulted in better outcomes than comfort care.
The authors point out that this is the first time that long-term societal benefits of aggressive treatment of traumatic brain injury have been demonstrated.
Parents of children in the palliative stage of cancer favour aggressive chemotherapy over supportive care compared with health care professionals, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). New research sheds light on what's going on inside our heads as we decide whether to take a risk or play it safe. MIT researchers have developed a new technique for imaging brain tissue at multiple scales, allowing them to peer at molecules within cells or take a wider view of the long-range connections between neurons. Scientists have mapped the structural changes that occur in teenagers' brains as they develop, showing how these changes may help explain why the first signs of mental health problems often arise during late adolescence. The study of rhodopsin—the molecule that allows the eye to detect dim light—has a long and well-recognized history of more than 100 years. The diagram below depicts brain injury treatment in an orderly progression from trauma care to community integration.
After receiving emergency medical treatment, persons with a moderate to severe brain injury may be admitted to a hospital’s Inpatient Intensive Care Unit. Intubation with the use of a ventilator allows a person to breathe and receive oxygen, which is necessary for life.
A Nasogastric Tube (NG Tube) is used to deliver medication and nutrients directly to a person’s stomach.
A tube is placed through a person’s nose or mouth and ran through the swallowing passage (the esophagus), to the stomach. An Intracranial Pressure (ICP) Monitor is a device attached to a person’s head with a monitor that indicates the amount of pressure in the brain. If the brain swells and has no place to expand, this can cause brain tissues to compress, causing further injury. A Pulse Oximeter is a small, clamp-like device placed on a person’s finger, toe or earlobe. As early as possible in the recovery process, individuals who sustain brain injuries will begin acute rehabilitation. When patients are well enough to participate in more intensive therapy, they may be transferred to a postacute rehabilitation setting, such as a residential rehabilitation facility.
Patients who cannot tolerate intensive therapy may be transferred to a subacute rehabilitation facility.
Day treatment provides rehabilitation in a structured group setting during the day and allows the person with a brain injury to return home at night. Community re-entry programs generally focus on developing higher level motor, social, and cognitive skills in order to prepare the person with a brain injury to return to independent living and potentially to work.
Independent living programs provide housing for persons with brain injury with the goal of regaining the ability to live as independently as possible. Medications for persons with brain injury are carefully selected, prescribed, and monitored by the physician on an individual basis. Anti-Psychotics may be used to target psychotic symptoms of combativeness, hostility, hallucinations, and sleep disorders. Sedative-Hypnotic Agents may be used to induce sleep or depress the central nervous system in areas of mental and physical response, awareness, sleep, and pain. Alternative medicines, including alternative therapies, are an under-researched area of brain injury treatment. Occupational Therapists use purposeful activities as a means of preventing, reducing, or overcoming physical and emotional challenges to ensure the highest level of independent functioning in meaningful daily living. Recreational Therapists provide activities to improve and enhance self-esteem, social skills, motor skills, coordination, endurance, cognitive skills, and leisure skills.
Aquatic Therapists are occupational therapists, physical therapists, or recreational therapists with specialized training to provide therapy in a heated water pool.
Several scales and measures are used to rate and record the progress a person makes in rehabilitation following a brain injury. The Functional Independent Measure (FIM) is a scale that rates an individual’s independence level with activities of daily living. The Functional Assessment Measure (FAM) is used in conjunction with the Functional Independent Measure (FIM). This is NOT the same as the Glasgow Coma Scale The Glasgow Outcome Scale is a very broad scale and has been shown to have very little functional value for people in rehabilitation.
Level I - No ResponsePatient appears to be in a deep sleep and is completely unresponsive to any stimuli presented to him. Patient is in a heightened state of activity with severely decreased ability to process information. Patient appears alert and is able to respond to simple commands fairly consistently; however, with increased complexity of commands or lack of any external structure, responses are non-purposeful, random, or, at best, fragmented toward any desired goal. Patient appears appropriate and oriented within hospital and home settings, goes through daily routine automatically, but frequently robot-like, with minimal-to-absent confusion, but has shallow recall of what he has been doing. Patient is alert and oriented, is able to recall and integrate past and recent events, and is aware of, and responsive to, his culture. BIAA has chartered affiliates that provide provide information and resource services, linkage to support groups, awareness and prevention programs, education, advocacy and more. Support groups can help individuals with brain injury increase their knowledge about brain injury and cope with the issues they face.
Additional case illustrating the changes of severe of anoxic brain injury on computed Higano S, Ishii K, Matsumoto K, Sakamoto K, Iwasaki Y, et al. Symptoms among older children and adults such as headache, dizziness, irritability, fatigue, or poor concentration, when identified soon after injury, can be used to support the diagnosis of mild TBI, but cannot be used to make the diagnosis in the absence of loss of consciousness or altered consciousness. When the head has a rotational movement during trauma, the brain moves, twists, and experiences forces that cause differential movement of brain matter. Any time the brain suffers a violent force or movement, the soft, floating brain is slammed against the skull’s uneven and rough interior. As a person recovers, the cells re-establish the precise balance needed to ensure effective information processing, but this may mean some compensation or adjustments to the neural cell’s original alignments.
Neuropsychological assessment is typically used to assess the functional impact of a mild brain injury.
The assessment is comprised of a wide range of tests that objectively measure specific brain functions. Understanding the changes that have occurred from a brain injury is an important part of the recovery process.
If you suspect you have a mild brain injury, contact a brain injury professional to help with the diagnosis and treatment of a brain injury.
Substances like caffeine, alcohol and nicotine can affect a person with a brain injury much more than it did before the injury. It is important to understand that a concussion is a physical injury to the brain that causes a disruption of normal functioning just like any other physical injury disrupts your normal functioning. Neuropsychosocial Intervention: The Practical Treatment of Severe Behavioral Dyscontrol After Acquired Brain Injury by Robert L.
Introducing the exclusive tokidoki back-to-school collection, featuring innovative bags, stationery, and coloring products. Neuropsychosocial intervention is an innovative and clinically proven treatment approach to severe behavioral problems that can affect persons with acquired brain injury.
Table of ContentsNeuropsychosocial intervention is an innovative and clinically proven treatment approach to severe behavioral problems that can affect persons with acquired brain injury. Artery junction points may become weak, causing a ballooning of the blood vessel wall to potentially form a small sac or aneurysm.
Cerebral aneurysms are common, but most are asymptomatic and are found incidentally at autopsy.



Aneurysms can leak or rupture causing symptoms from severe headache to stroke-like symptoms, or death. The health care practitioner needs to maintain a high incidence of suspicion to make the diagnosis, since many patients may have an initial small leak of blood causing symptoms hours or days before a catastrophic bleed occurs.
Treatment to repair the aneurysm may involve neurosurgery to put a clip across the weak blood vessel wall.
The Circle of Willis is the junction of the four many arteries, two carotid arteries and two vertebral arteries, that supply the brain with nutrition (especially oxygen and glucose). Aneurysms have a variety of causes including high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, trauma, heredity, and abnormal blood flow at the junction where arteries come together.
The greater concern is a brain aneurysm that leaks or ruptures, and potentially causes stroke or death. By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time. Learn how to increase concentration and boost memory by watching this photo slideshow on brain foods such as fish (omega 3 fatty acids), berries, fruits, nuts, chocolate, vitamins and more.
These important findings can be found in the article "Is aggressive treatment of traumatic brain injury cost-effective?
Although initially aggressive treatment may appear more expensive than routine or comfort care, over time improvements in patient outcome shift the balance and aggressive treatment proves to be the most cost-effective of the three treatment paradigms. Their choices, goals and cultural, religious, social and economic backgrounds must always be taken into consideration in treatment planning. The goals in the ICU include achieving medical stability, medical management, and prevention of medical crisis. Many tubes, wires, and pieces of medical equipment may be attached to the patient to provide life sustaining medical care.
This allows urine to move from the bladder, through the tube, and to a container at the end of the tube. The treatment is provided in a special unit of the trauma hospital, a rehabilitation hospital or another inpatient setting. The goal of postacute rehabilitation is to help the patient regain the most independent level of functioning possible.
Subacute rehabilitation programs are designed for persons with brain injury who need a less intensive level of rehabilitation services over a longer period of time. Treatment may focus on safety in the community, interacting with others, initiation and goal setting and money management skills.
The physician or pharmacist can explain a medication’s purpose, side effects and precautions to you.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (part of the National Institutes of Health) offers a Guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicines. The Brain Injury Association also published an issue of the Challenge! The physiatrist typically serves as the leader for the rehabilitation treatment team and makes referrals to the various therapies and medical specialists as needed.
The physical therapist focuses on improving physical function by addressing muscle strength, flexibility, endurance, balance, and coordination.
A rehabilitation nurse attempts to maintain the person’s medical status, anticipate potential complications, and work on goals to restore a person's functioning. Maintains regular contact with the patient's insurance carrier, family, and referring physician to assure that treatment goals are understood and achieved.
Recreational therapists plan community outings to allow the person to directly apply learned skills in the community. Neuropsychologists provide services to reduce the impact of setbacks and to help the person return to a full productive life.
Aquatic therapists assist a person to increase strength, coordination, ambulation skills, endurance, muscle movement, and reduce pain. This scale considers cognitive and physical function, impairment, disability and handicap to present a global depiction of the individual’s disability. Areas of activities of daily living include self-care, bowel and bladder management, locomotion, transfers, communication, and social cognition.
The FAM was developed specifically for people with brain injury and consists of 12 items added to the 18 items of the Functional Independence Measure (FIM).
Responses are directly related to the type of stimulus presented as in turning head toward a sound or focusing on an object presented. He may show agitated behavior, but not on an internal basis (as in Level IV), but rather as a result of external stimuli, and usually out of proportion to the stimulus. Response to discomfort is appropriate and he is able to tolerate unpleasant stimuli (as NG tube) when need is explained.
He shows increased awareness of self, body, family, foods, people, and interaction in the environment. He shows carry-over for new learning if acceptable to him and his life role, and needs no supervision once activities are learned.
Support group members can provide valuable emotional support because of their experiences and understanding of the impact of brain injury. It is soft and jello-like in consistency, composed of millions of fine nerve fibers, and "floats" in cerebral-spinal fluid within the hard, bony skull.
This sudden movement or direct force applied to the head can set the brain tissue in motion even though the brain is well protected in the skull and very resilient. The internal lower surface of the skull, pictured to the left, is a rough, bony structure that often damages the fragile tissues within the brain as it moves across the bone surface. An initial increase in energy production occurs followed by a dramatic decrease that affects the ability of the cell to produce structural proteins to preserve the diameter of the axon.
The more often neural cells must compensate or adjust to injury, the more likely the task takes longer and may not be as complete. Sometimes talking with others who have experienced similar experiences can help a person with a brain injury understand they are not the only one dealing with these issues.
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This book outlines the nature and significance of behavioral dyscontrol, explains aggression, and details the neuropsychosocial treatment approach and the principles on which it is based. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Symptoms of a ruptured brain aneurysm come on suddenly and include a severe, sudden headache that is different from other headaches an individual has experienced. Instead of surgery, some patients may be treated by an interventional radiologist or neurologist who may use a coil to fill the aneurysm to prevent bleeding. This loop of arteries is located at the base of the brain and sends out smaller branch arteries to all parts of the brain. At autopsy, incidental aneurysms that have never caused any symptoms or issues are found in more than 1% of people.
Blood may leak into one of the membranes (meninges) that covers the brain and spinal canal and is known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage (sub= beneath + arachnoid=one of the brain coverings + hemorrhage=bleeding). Clinical article," by Robert Whitmore and colleagues, published online March 6 in the Journal of Neurosurgery. Individuals who sustain brain injuries may enter, exit and re-enter treatment at any point along the continuum. Some preventive rehabilitation may be initiated in the Intensive Care Unit such as body positioning, splinting, and range of motion (a therapist moves the person’s limbs).
During acute rehabilitation, a team of health professionals with experience and training in brain injury work with the patient to regain as many activities of daily living as possible. Rehabilitation channels the body's natural healing abilities and the brain's relearning processes so an individual may recover as quickly and efficiently as possible. Subacute programs may also be designed for persons who have made progress in the acute rehabilitation setting and are still progressing but are not making rapid functional gains.
The physiatrist works with the rehabilitation team, the person with a brain injury, and the family to develop the best possible treatment plan.


Functional goals include increasing independent ability with walking, getting in and out of bed, on and off a toilet, or in and out of a bathtub. The occupational therapist also fabricates splints and casts to reduce deformities and optimize muscle functioning. A rehabilitation nurse is responsible for the assessment, implementation, and evaluation of each individual patient's nursing care and educational needs based on specific problems as well as coordinating with physicians and other team members to move the patient from a dependent to an independent role. Additional programs provided by recreational therapists may include pet therapy, leisure education, wheelchair sports, gardening, special social functions or holiday functions for persons and their family.
The neuropsychologist’s evaluations provide valuable information to assist with school, community, or employment re-entry. The ultimate goal is to increase the person’s functional ability with activities of daily living. He has gross attention to the environment, but is highly distractible and lacks ability to focus attention to a specific task without frequent re-direction back to it.
He follows simple directions consistently and shows carry-over for tasks he has relearned (as self-care). He has superficial awareness of, but lacks insight into, his condition, decreased judgment and problem-solving and lacks realistic planning for his future.
Within his physical capabilities, he is independent in home and community skills, including driving.
Brain injury support groups are also a good place to network and learn what others have done in similar situations. This change occurs gradually after the time of impact and may be responsible for the delay in symptoms sometimes observed. Contact the Brain Injury Association in your state to find out about support groups or other resources that may be useful to you.
The better we understand any injury, the better our chances are for a speedier and healthier recovery. It includes detailed behavioral treatment plans for 18 target behaviors and includes a review of medication management.
His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Smaller arteries leave the circle and branch out to supply brain cells with oxygen and nutrients.
A review of the literature provided probabilities of Glasgow Outcome Scale scores (1 [death] through 5 [good outcome]) for each treatment group. It should only be used after aggressive treatment has failed or tests show that it will fail. Rehabilitation also involves learning new ways to compensate for abilities that have permanently changed due to brain injury.
Physical therapists provide training with assistive devices such as canes or walkers for ambulation.
He may follow simple commands in an inconsistent, delayed manner such as closing his eyes, squeezing or extending an extremity. He may cry out or scream out of proportion to stimuli even after removal, show aggressive behavior, attempt to remove restraints or tubes, or crawl out of bed in a purposeful manner.
He is at least supervised with old learning; unable to maximally be assisted for new learning with little or no carry-over. Vocational rehabilitation, to determine ability to return as contributor to society (perhaps in a new capacity) is indicated.
This friction can also stretch and strain the brain’s threadlike nerve cells called axons. The book also presents a discussion of community placement and living situations that facilitate success for the person with brain injury.
Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. These weak spots can balloon out and fill with blood, creating the outpouchings of blood vessels known as aneurysms.
The researchers took these Glasgow Outcome Scale scores and converted them into quality-adjusted life years in accordance with expectations of patient longevity and quality of life associated with the various Glasgow Outcome Scale scores. Physical therapists can also use physical modalities, treatments of heat, cold, and water to assist with pain relief and muscle movement. He does not, however, discriminate among persons or objects and is unable to cooperate directly with treatment efforts. His memory is severely impaired, with confusion of past and present in his reaction to ongoing activity. Responses may be incorrect due to memory problem, but they are appropriate to the situation. He may continue to show a decreased ability, relative to premorbid abilities, in abstract reasoning, tolerance for stress, judgement in emergencies or unusual circumstances.
With numerous case vignettes, it shows how this novel alternative to traditional treatment approaches may help keep survivors out of institutions and jails. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology. They also calculated estimates of direct costs (acute and long-term medical care) and indirect costs (loss of productivity) for patients 20, 40, 60, and 80 years old. Treatment methods and technologies are rapidly advancing as knowledge of the brain and its function increases.
He may also show a vague awareness of self and body by responding to discomfort by pulling at nasogastric tube or catheter or resisting restraints. Patient lacks initiation of functional tasks and often shows inappropriate use of objects without external direction. They may be delayed to immediate and he shows decreased ability to process information with little or no anticipation or prediction of events. He is independent in self-care activities and supervised in home and community skills for safety.
His social, emotional, and intellectual capacities may continue to be at a decreased level for him, but functional in society. He may show a bias toward responding to some persons (especially family, friends) but not to others. He may be able to perform previously-learned tasks when structured for him, but is unable to learn new information.
With structure, he is able to initiate tasks as social or recreational activities in which he now has interest.
Thus, gross attention to environment is very short and selective attention is often nonexistent.Being unaware of present events, patient lacks short-term recall and may be reacting to past events.
The patient may show beginning immediate awareness of situation by realizing he doesn't know an answer. The patient can usually perform self-care activities, with assistance, and may accomplish feeding with maximum supervision.
If not disabled physically, he may perform motor activities such as sitting, reaching, and ambulating, but as part of his agitated state and not as a purposeful act or on request, necessarily. Management on the ward is often a problem if the patient is physically mobile, as he may wander off, either randomly or with vague intentions of "going home". Selective attention to task may be impaired, especially with difficult tasks and in unstructured settings, but is now functional for common daily activities (30 min. He may show a vague recognition of some staff, has increased awareness of self, family and basic needs (as food), again, in an appropriate manner as in contrast to Level V.



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