Focal brain injuries occur when there is trauma to the brain in a single location.
Unlike a diffuse brain injury, a focal brain injury is concentrated in one region of the brain. Having an injury in a specific region of the brain can make it easier to predict the trajectory of the injury, however, it generally does not make these injuries any more or less serious compared to diffuse brain injuries. Their impact depends on the severity and location of the injury, and access to quality medical care and rehabilitation. While some people completely recover from the injury, others have to struggle with the symptoms for years. In this post, our Chicago brain injury lawyers will discuss focal brain injuries in greater depth.
Causes of focal brain injuries
These injuries occur when there is trauma to the brain in a single location. This does not mean that only a single function will be affected, because small regions of the brain control several, unrelated functions. Some common causes of these injuries include:
- Head trauma, particularly by a sharp object. This can result from violent attacks, car accidents, and falls
- A brain lesion that cuts of blood supply to a particular region of the brain
- A blood clot that travels to the brain and blocks oxygen to a specific region
Diffuse brain injuries often result from shaking, so a whiplash injury or shaken baby syndrome can increase the likelihood of a focal brain injury.
Types of focal brain injuries
Focal brain injuries can be open or closed just like all other brain injuries. Some other categories of focal brain injuries include:
- Intraventricular hemorrhage: Bleeding within the brain’s ventricles.
- Epidural hemorrhage: Brain bleeds in between the skull and the dura matter.
- Intracerebral hemorrhage: Bleeding within the cerebrum.
- Subdural hemorrhage: Bleeding between the brain’s arachnoid and dura matter.
- Cerebral laceration: When the brain’s pia-arachnoid gets lacerated.
- Cerebral contusion: A brain bruise, which usually results from the brain hitting the skull.
Symptoms of a focal brain injury
Focal brain injuries generally cannot be diagnosed solely based on the symptoms. If you have suffered a blow to the head or have violently shaken, you should seek medical attention. Some of the common symptoms that can indicate a focal brain injury include:
- Severe headache
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty staying awake.
- Slurred speech.
- Sudden and unexplained paranoia, fear, depression or anxiety.
- Changes in mood or personality.
- Tingling or numbness on either side of the body.
- Difficulty speaking or understanding speech.
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Changes in vision or consciousness.
Treatment and prognosis
The prognosis depends on a variety of factors such as overall health of the person, the severity and location of the injury, how promptly the person sought medical attention and the quality of care and rehabilitation received.
Apart from the medication and possible surgery, the patient may need occupational, physical, and speech therapy. The recovery can be slow and frustrating. However, proper treatment and care, and lifestyle changes can make things easier.
If you have suffered a focal brain injury due to another person’s negligence, you should seek legal help from a competent Chicago personal injury attorney. Give us a call today at (312) 957-4166 for a free case evaluation.