Acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury to the brain that is not hereditary, congenital or degenerative, and one that has occurred after birth.
Pate Rehabilitation specializes in treating acquired brain injury. Common causes of acquired brain injuries or ABI include:
- External forces applied to the head and or neck (traumatic brain injury)
- Anoxic/hypoxic injury (cardiac arrest, carbon monoxide poisoning, airway obstruction, hemorrhage, and drowning)
- Intracranial surgery
- Infectious diseases
- Seizure disorders
- Toxic exposure (substance abuse, ingestion of lead and inhalation of volatile agents)
- Medical causes like stroke (vascular obstruction)
An acquired brain injury can result in cognitive, physical, emotional, or behavioral impairments that lead to permanent or temporary changes in functioning. Brain injury is a very complex phenomenon with dramatically varied effects.
No two persons can expect the same outcome or resulting difficulties. The brain controls every part of human life: physical, intellectual, behavioral, social and emotional. When the brain is damaged, some part of a person’s life is adversely affected.
Acquired Brain Injury Effects
Once a person has survived the acquired brain injury, there may be changes that affect many areas of an individual’s life. These are typically grouped in three major categories: physical, cognitive/thinking, and emotional/behavioral differences.
Some physical changes may include:
- Muscle coordination problems
- Full or partial paralysis
- Changes in senses: hearing, sight, smell, etc.
Some cognitive/thinking changes may include:
- Difficulty communicating
- Memory problems
- Poor judgment
- Difficulty learning new things
Some emotional/behavioral changes may include:
- Difficulty with social skills
- Inability to recognize changes in themselves
One can expect the most rapid recovery from acquired brain injury in the first 18 months to two years following the injury; however, recovery can be a life-long process.
The type of injury, the severity of injury, the age of the person injured, as well as many other factors, affect the degree of improvement.
Family and other support persons play a major role in helping an individual resume productive and meaningful activity.
An acquired brain injury often requires a major life adjustment around the person’s new circumstances, and making that adjustment is a critical factor in recovery and rehabilitation. While the outcome of a given injury depends largely upon the nature and severity of the injury itself, appropriate treatment plays a vital role in determining the level of recovery.
At Pate Rehabilitation, we know treating acquired brain injuries demands a personalized, evidence-based and multidisciplinary approach guided by the patient’s needs and goals.
Creating a therapeutic environment that matches the patient’s tolerance for distraction and need for structure results in a much higher likelihood of the patient being able to return to home, work and community.
We have found that treating patients in isolation away from others in a quiet environment usually means that the patient will have much more difficulty returning to the community where there is little to no structure and constant distractions. Scientific literature says that a combination of individual therapies and therapies provided with other people around is proven effective for brain injury rehabilitation.
At Pate, evidence-based techniques form the foundation from which to build individualized, functional activities. We strive to provide therapies that are meaningful and represent “real life ” situations for the patients served.