Receiving a brain injury or witnessing a loved one fighting one is extremely painful to go through. Maybe the injury itself doesn’t hurt much, but nevertheless it takes its toll on the victim and their friends and family.
Naturally, you want to know what can be done about it so keep reading to take an overview of the most common treatment options available to you: medication, surgery, and/or therapy.
Medications For TBIs
There are four different medications you or your loved one will be given, depending on the type of brain injury and the extent of the damage:
● Coma-inducing drugs
● Homeostasis drugs
Analgesics is just a fancy medical way of saying “pain-killer.” You’ll likely be asked to take aspirin, which also serves as a blood thinner.
Anticonvulsants, such as carbamazepine, are anti-siezure drugs that surpess excessive neuron fire that occurs during seizures and are used for neuropathic pain, too. They’ll help make sure there isn’t further damage to the brain.
Coma-inducing drugs are exactly what they sound like. These drugs, like propofol, are only used when a patient’s blood vessels are compressed in order to reduce the amount of energy needed by areas of the brain that aren’t getting enough blood-flow. The hopeful effect is that the brain will begin to heal and reduce swelling so that it’s easier to protect those areas.
Diuretics like Mannitol or caffeine reduce the excessive cerebral fluid in your brain to relieve pressure in your brain.
Finally, drugs that create homeostasis in the brain, like magnesium, increase blood flow and general stability.
Surgical Procedures for TBI
Surgery is an immediate form of traumatic brain injury treatment, but they aren’t done except for moderate or severe cases of TBI such as skull fractures, intracerebral hemmhorages, and hematomas.
A surgical procedure may be necessary to remove the blood clots (hemotomas), drain excess cerebral fluid quickly, or to reconstruct the skull.Patients often have one of the various procedures performed soon after the trauma and then are put on the appropriate medication.
Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation will be recommended to you if your injury has made performing everyday motions difficult as a way to retrain your brain and help it make new neural connections. This is a process known as neuroplasticity that allows you to regain those lost movements.
Your case coordinator will put together an individualized program for you but it will likely include,
● Occupational therapy
● Physical therapy
● Physical therapy
● Speech/language therapy
In conjunction with these sessions, you may be recommended hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). HBOT will provide your brain with 100% oxygen to allow it to increase blood flow by enlarging compromised capillaries or promoting new capillary growth. It can even bring the blood and oxygen to the speech center of the brain to enhance your therapy.
You now know the most common options available to you and your family. We hope this article gives you a sense of direction of what kind of treatment you want to pursue.