Brain damage or impairment to brain function, can occur for a number of reasons and damage may be recoverable through professional and medical help. However, severe damage to the brain can lead to permanent restrictions on previous abilities and independence. Brain damage can happen because of injury, strokes, various disorders or can be hereditary.
Causes of Brain Damage
The main causes of brain injury are car accidents, sports injury, falls or be hereditary.
1) With a car accident or sports injury, damage is caused by the initial blow to the head and by the subsequent movement of the brain within the skull.
2) Strokes are when a blood clot develops and the brain is starved of blood. A loss of function is the result.
3) Disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s are conditions which lead to loss of brain functionality. A cancerous tumour can put pressure on the brain leading to a blood clot.
4) In the case of a hereditary cause, a gene may have been passed onto the unborn infant that prevented the brain from fully forming.
Types of Brain Damage
Brain damage can be focal or diffuse. Focal means located in a specific region of the brain and diffuse refers to more widespread function impairment through injury.
- Aphasia – This stems from damage to the frontal lobe. It affects the ability to communicate such as difficulty in speaking and being able to combine more than a few words. Hearing speech itself may be a problem.
- Amnesia – This when the memory is affected. Short-term memory may be difficult but long-term memory may still be accessible. There may be gaps in memory too. Again this is through damage to the frontal lobe.
- Agnosia – This is the inability at times to recognise people or objects or places that should be familiar to them. This is also due to amnesia but affects long-term memory.
Other Symptoms of Brain Damage
- Emotional – there may be a restless feeling or an ability to get angry quickly, frustration and other personal changes may be experienced.
- Physical – loss of strength, flexibility, coordination of movement difficulty.
- Sexuality – libido, erectile dysfunction
- Sensory – tinnitus and visual impairment such as blurred or double vision. Unusual taste in the mouth.
- Cognitive – speech, memory and an ability to analyze may be affected
Treatment of Damage Caused By Strokes
If you have an ischaemic (reduced blood supply) stroke, it is treated by using ‘clot-busting’ drugs whose aim is to dissolve those clots. These need to be administered within 3 hours of the stroke to be effective. After this anti-coagulants are used as a preventive measure and cholesterol levels are also monitored and if necessary treated with drugs. Good blood pressure is also another important aspect in prevention of future strokes.
A hemorrhagic stroke is when the blood vessel weakens or for some other reason bursts and again the blood supply to various parts of the brain is interrupted. Treatment includes surgery aimed art repairing the burst blood vessel. Subsequently, the cause of the damage is assessed and a program aimed at prevention is instigated. For example, high blood pressure may have been the cause and medication is issued to maintain a healthy level. Anti-coagulants could be a cause of this type of stroke in which case these are stopped.
Longer term treatments of strokes follow a similar path for brain injury patients and involve care plans, physiotherapy and emotional help.
For most long term patients recovering from brain damage, the aim is to gradually increase functionality of those abilities that were lost. Time and patience and determination are the 3 most important factors that are apart of any long-term recovery program.
Recovering the ability to walk and talk or even move an arm require the right communication from the brain to those parts of the body (legs, mouth or limbs). The damage to brain means that the communication either doesn’t happen or at best is weak.
Recovery involves regularly exercising and practising that communication and it can be encouraging to notice even small amounts of progress.
Hypnosis and Brain Damage Rehabilitation.
Hypnosis encourages the patient to use their mind and imagination to send those electrical signals from the brain to the limbs or other parts of the body.
Most actions that we take happen in this order:-
1) We think about what we want to do
2) We imagine doing it
3) and then we do it.
Hypnosis can assist the recovery of a stroke patient by helping them to relax and then use their imagination to help make the communication between the brain and desired body part.
Many studies believe that improvement in stroke patients capabilities, 6 months after the initial event, is unlikely to continue. However, hypnosis has been used to help with what is considered , a “learnt” non-use of a previous working ability, such as moving a leg or arm. One particular recent study(1) was carried out in the USA in 2006 into the efficacy of hypnosis on stroke patients and the research concluded that there were noticeable improvements strength, spectrum of motion and movements and a reduction in stiffness and tightness in muscles. In fact there has been an awareness of the usefulness of hypnosis with stroke recovery dating back to the 50’s (Shires, Peters and Krout, 1954) and supported by various studies since then.
Help for Stroke Recovery with Hypnotherapy in London
You will be learn what hypnosis is like and in particular how to practice self hypnosis. You can then use self hypnosis to help release stress and tension and also how to use your mind to help your recovery.
Steven Harold BA(Hons) DCH DHP
Clinical Hypnotherapist – Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire
Website: www.hypno-therapist.com Email: [email protected]
(1) HYPNOSIS FOR REHABILITATION AFTER STROKE: SIX CASE STUDIES. Solomon Gilbert Diamond, Orin C. Davis, Judith D. Schaechter, and Robert D. Howe