By Dan Gardner, MD, Traumatic Brain Injury Psychiatry Consultant in San Diego
How do we understand and treat the causes of emotional, behavioral, and cognitive problems resulting from Traumatic Brain Injury?
Evaluating the problems caused by brain injury can be complicated. For example, how can we tell the difference between cognitive impairments caused by brain injury, PTSD, depression, anxiety, pain, and medication side effects? What causes memory and attention problems after? What causes depression and irritability post-TBI?
I try to consider these potential causes and contributing factors to emotional, behavioral, and cognitive problems following traumatic brain injury:
These pre-injury factors should be considered:
(Note that this list is not exhaustive.)
Evaluation of the above biological, psychological, and social factors may include:
The relative effects of the bio-psycho-social factors can vary greatly according to
1) the force of the impact and 2) the unique brain that is injured.
I believe that brain injury is best viewed from a biological, psychological, social perspective:
Injury occurs to a person with a particular physical status, particular life experiences and coping style, particular current relationships with individuals and organizations.
Every person is unique; so similar impacts may have dramatically different results.
The problems resulting from most concussions resolve in weeks or months after injury. But in some cases of (so-called) mild TBI, the resulting problems may be significant and long-lasting.
Hopefully,our evaluation will take all these factors into account in carefully diagnosing and treating the causes of and contributors to a traumatic brain injury.
See filtered TBI literature searches on topics concerning evaluation and treatment.
What other factors do you think are important to consider in evaluating the emotional, behavioral, and cognitive problems resulting from Traumatic Brain Injury?
Please leave a comment.
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