The simple answer to this question is Yes. A child can very well recover from brain damage. However, there are a few variables to it. One of the variables id that the chances of recovery are only with mild brain damages cases. In such mild cases, you can be assured of a recovery with little or no issues.
Another variable is that recovery is not instant! The recovery process takes as long as few years with treatments and therapy. This guide will tell you more about brain damage, its symptoms and treatments. Come along!
Signs Of Brain Damage
It is important to observe and recognize brain damage in children early enough so as to tackle it immediately and possibly help the child to recover from it while they can. Here are some signs and symptoms related to brain damage in children.
Newborn infants with brain damage could show signs like having a small head, or a big forehead, abnormal movement of the eyes, disturbed sleep, excess crying, not eating well, a stiff neck and deformed spine, and so on.
Sometimes, the signs do not show so early in the baby. It could take some time before they start showing signs of brain damage.
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Can A Child Recover From Brain Damage
As the child grows older, he begins to experience brain damage symptoms such as hearing or vision impairment, abnormal exhaustion, paralysis, and he is still likely to have disturbed sleeps.
In addition to these signs, the child might also show symptoms like muscle tremors, delay in performing some basic physical activities like sitting, crawling or walking, eating, writing or dressing up.
Treatments For Brain Damage
Symptoms of brain damage are not always so obvious and visible in infants until much later in their lives, when the signs begin to show. At this point, treatments can hardly effect much changes or lead to recovery for the child. However, if the signs of brain damage show early enough in a child, his chances of recovery are quite favorable.
For a newborn whose brain damage was caused by asphyxiation at the time of delivery i.e. the deprivation of oxygen due to factors like twist of the umbilical cord around the baby’s neck, you can opt for hypothermic therapy to reduce baby’s temperature. This therapy alleviates brain damage, making it less severe.
In cases where brain damage is discovered much later, cognitive behavioral therapy is recommended. This is a psychotherapy that combines cognitive and behavioral therapy to help improve cognitive impairment.
We also recommend physical therapy in cases where brain damage has affected physical abilities and movement like cerebral palsy and paralysis. A surgery might be needed if the damage is very severe and there is swelling or bleeding in the brain.
A child with severe traumatic brain injury, once identified, will usually require immediate medical attention to ensure that there is no blood clot in the brain, there is enough oxygen and blood flow into the brain.
In cases of blood clot, brain pressure monitors are used to check the level of pressure the clotted blood is putting on the brain, and drain out cerebrospinal fluid to reduce pressure. In cases of swellings in the skull due to brain pressure, craniectomy is usually a treatment option.
Where there isn’t enough blood and oxygen flowing through the brain, breathing tubes are used to aid oxygenated blood flow. X-rays are carried out on the brain, skull and spinal cord to ascertain the level of damage done.
As the child stabilizes and gets better, intense speech, massage, and physical therapies are introduced. The brain will heal naturally with brain or cognitive rest.
Most TBI patients will also need close monitoring by the neurosurgeon, and rehabilitation to help with their recovery process.
Although traumatic brain damage has high tendencies of leaving its sufferer permanently impaired, a number of children get to recover from it with treatments, therapies and rehabilitation.
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Stages Of Traumatic Brain Injury Consciousness
Traumatic Brain Injury is usually as a result of a fall that affects the head, a blow to the head or any external force to the head that causes a disorder in the brain’s functionality. Here are the stages of consciousness in the traumatic brain injury:
The disorder in the brain leads to the first stage of unconsciousness or in proper terms, coma. As the person lays comatose, they can neither feel, see, hear nor talk. At this stage, they are not aware of their environment.
As they begin to come around, they go into the vegetative stage where they fall in and out of consciousness; awake sometimes, unconscious at other times. At this stage, the brain keeps them up by performing its functions of aiding digestion, respiration and heart functioning.
Mostly all of their responses at the time they are awake are reflexive or subconscious actions. They may smile, wince from pain or cry but they are really not in control of their actions at that moment.
Minimal Consciousness Stage
At this point, the person begins to regain their consciousness. They become more aware of their environment than they were in the vegetative stage. They are also more in control of their actions and behaviors.
They are able to follow commands, use gestures or simple word to communicate, maintain focus on a moving object and even show emotions. As they get better, communication also gets easier and steadier. They can now carry out simple tasks and make use of objects correctly.
There is likely to be some confusion at the point of full consciousness. This stage is known as the post-traumatic stage. This is as a result of memory loss and inability to recognize the people around them.
At this stage, most people develop amnesia and cannot remember what happened or how they got to their present location. Sleep patterns may change with them becoming restless at night and sleeping all day.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can An Infection Cause Brain Issues?
Yes! Infections can cause brain inflammation, a condition known as encephalitis and also cause meninges and spinal cord inflammation, a condition known as meningitis.
For children, the mother might be carrier of the infection and these infections can put the unborn child at a risk of suffering brain damage.
It has been established that a mild brain damage can be controlled and recovered from much easier than a severe one.
However, in some cases, children who have mild brain damages do not completely recover from it and would likely have to live with its consequences forever. Either ways, treatments and therapies would go a long way in helping them recover or get better.